Early this morning, the KHL announced that the rest of the season will be cancelled because of the COVID-19 threat.
KHL just cancelled the season due to COVID-19 threat
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) March 25, 2020
KHL Cancels Season
The Kontinental Hockey League has joined the rest of the leagues from overseas to cancel their season due to COVID-19. Originally, the KHL was playing games in empty arenas before suspending their season for a week. They were hoping to resume the regular season and playoffs once the threat was over. Unfortunately, nobody really knows when the threat of the virus will be gone. Instead, the KHL gave up on rescheduling the Gagarin Cup Playoffs and cancelled the rest of its regular season.
The league based is one Russia, is considered to be one the strongest leagues outside of the NHL. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the league was set to start its conference semifinal play. However, the threat of the virus put those plans on hold.
With the COVID-19 threat getting worse teams that played out of Finland and Kazakhstan withdrew over safety and travel concerns. This league left the league with six teams in an eight-team bracket. Not to mention a week ago Wednesday, member team Ak Bars Kazan reached out to the KHL requesting the season be called off even though a champion had not been crowned. The KHL was hoping to play in June and July but decided that it best to focus all its energy on the 2020-21 season.
What Lies Ahead
Unfortunately, nobody knows what is really next. With the IIHF cancelling the Wolrd Hockey Championships over the weekend, there are not too many leagues left playing the waiting game. Over in North America, the CHL season is over, but the NHL and AHL are holding out hopes of returning to action. One by one, leagues are realizing that health and safety are more important than playing games at this time.
KHL President and former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Aleksey Morozov put the health and safety of those around him ahead of the playing games. It is unclear whether the league will crown a champion. And if they do, how a champion will be crowned.
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