BOSTON (CBS) — Usually in a time of uncertainty, some people turn to sports as a way to escape. But that is not an option during the coronavirus outbreak, with sports leagues around the world canceling tournaments or putting seasons on hold to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
While the NCAA had to cancel its basketball tournament on Thursday, the NHL and NBA are hoping to avoid losing out on their postseasons. Multiple reports say the leagues will revisit their suspended seasons in 30 days.
That’s good news for the Boston Bruins, as the team sits atop the NHL standings with a 44-14-12 record and 100 points. They were set to hold practice at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton on Thursday morning, but that was canceled at the advisement of the NHL.
The team discussed the NHL’s decision to put play on hold during the outbreak on Thursday in a series of statements released to the media, and though they’re disappointed that they won’t be playing hockey for the foreseeable future, everyone agrees this was the right move to make.
“It is disappointing, but it’s the prudent thing to do in these uncertain times,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “The health of every individual all over the globe is the number one priority and more important than hockey. Hopefully the situation improves to a point where we can resume hockey and compete for the Stanley Cup but until then please remain safe and healthy.”
“While it’s disappointing the season has been paused, it’s become apparent that the situation is much larger than sports,” added forward Patrice Bergeron. “In a time like this it is important we continue to listen to experts whose job it is to maintain the safety and well-being of the population until the issue stabilizes. That said, we hope the situation improves soon and we can resume our pursuit of the Stanley Cup. Finally, I’d like to wish everyone in the New England community, and people across the globe, safety and good health.”
“Today’s news is difficult to process for our team, our staff, our city and our fans everywhere,” said Boston captain Zdeno Chara. “As players, we love being able to compete and feed off the passion of our fans, but we understand that this challenge facing our world is much bigger than sports. We fully respect the NHL’s decision today and wish everyone good health until we can once again come together to celebrate the game we love.”
The Boston brass added to those statements, saying the world’s focus needs to be on staying healthy and recovering — not sports.
“While we are disappointed to have the season put on pause, we respect and support the decision of the NHL. The health of our fans, players, staff and all of our associates is paramount, and we are hopeful that we can continue the season when it is safe to resume,” said team president Cam Neely. “We will provide Bruins updates when available, and on behalf of the organization we would like to wish good health to all.”
“I think we all believe that the health and well-being of every individual person has to be the priority when decisions like this are made,” added GM Don Sweeney. “We want to support the efforts of the entire Health sector as they dedicate their lives to care for those in need. Hopefully we are able to resume playing at some point and the pursuit of the Stanley Cup is realized and becomes a small part of the story. Right now, the world’s focus must remain on people staying healthy and recovering from these challenging times.”