Corona virus also stops the NHL: is the season over? The NHL will also not continue for the time being
United States NHL season stopped due to coronavirus
After the NHL had graced itself one day after the NBA had stopped pulling the ripcord, it had to give in on Thursday, March 12th and also pause the game operations until further notice. The NHL stop is therefore official for all 32 teams.
This was preceded by the first two Coronavirus cases in one of the major North American major leagues. It became known that the two Utah jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had been infected with the virus and that the entire jazz team would be quarantined with immediate effect.
This is also an important cut for the NHL, as there are still 189 games to be played and the playoffs are also imminent. If and when the league will continue to play and what that means for betting, we try to break down here.
What do we already know
As far as is known so far, there is no official corona case in the NHL, but the league had to react due to developments in the other major leagues such as the NBA or NCAA. Going it alone would have been irresponsible.
In general, North America is not yet as badly affected as e.g. Asia or Europe. To date, there are just over 100 cases in the United States, and 33 cases in Canada. However, this number is likely to increase rapidly over the next few days as well as everywhere.
NHL tests on Corona
The NHL has also confirmed that it has banned all of its employees from traveling outside the United States. Those just returning from trips were advised to stay away from the office for 14 days. The same measures have already been initiated by many of the 32 teams.
We have also learned that the NHL teams, similar to what has already been done in the NBA, will soon order extensive tests by the players. Since NHL Commissioner Bettman has announced that he wants to continue the season as soon as possible, it will not be possible in the foreseeable future without testing everyone.
What’s next in the NHL?
First of all, the NHL has stopped playing. Of course, there is still no exact date when it will be resumed, and Commissioner Bettman has announced that he will wait for the developments from day to day and make a spontaneous decision.
However, we assume that there will be no more games in front of viewers in the foreseeable future, as was also the case in almost all football leagues in Europe. The question should then also be whether the NHL is completely canceling its season or trying to push through the schedule at some point without spectators.
Abort or ghost games in the NHL?
At the moment it almost looks like the seasons of the big North American leagues will not be able to play a championship this year. Even if game operations such as China could be resumed after ten to twelve weeks, the season would then extend well into July and August.
This would result in major problems with hall bookings and summer breaks for the individual clubs. In New York, for example, the Madison Square Garden is meticulously booked for all kinds of large events and the Knicks or Rangers should also comply with it.
Reason or business?
In the NBA as well as in the NHL, of course, an incredible number of business decisions depend on one season or on the clubs. This affects sponsors, TV contracts as well as audience revenue and the salaries of club employees.
From a health point of view, the most sensible thing would be to simply break off the seasons and do without a champion. In the NHL, the St. Louis Blues would be the reigning title holders for another year. Since there are no promoted and relegated players in the major US major leagues, they definitely wouldn’t have this big problem.
What does the corona virus mean for betting?
It also applies to the NHL that all bets already placed on canceled games have been considered invalid. In addition, all betting providers that we have in the program have currently placed bets on NHL games as well as on the conference or the overall winner. These will only come back into the program when the season officially continues.
If the season actually continues in the foreseeable future, similar scenarios apply as for the NBA. Although home games without spectators would be a little less drastic in the NHL than in the NBA or the NFL. In no other US sport is the home advantage less important than ice hockey in the NHL.
Another last option, which is currently being brought into play by the media, is to host the playoffs in quick format to save time in the summer months but still get the season through.
The series would then only be played as Best of 3 or Best of 5, with this option receiving the least approval among the players. Such scenarios could then become interesting for betting, since the favorite does not always prevail. But if this happens, we will deal with it in a separate betting base article.