The Ontario Hockey League season has been put on pause due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak.
The decision was made by the Canadian Hockey League and its three regional leagues, the OHL, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, on Thursday afternoon.
The CHL says it takes the health and safety of its players, fans, volunteers, staff, and general public very seriously.
"Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today among the CHL Executive Council, and regional league Board of Governors, the CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice." read a statement.
The Kitchener Rangers were scheduled to host the Soo Greyhounds on Friday evening, but obviously that game will not go ahead.
Mike Farwell, the voice of the Rangers on 570 NEWS, tells KitchenerToday.com he's never seen anything like this in all his time covering the league.
"I would guess that this changes the playoffs in terms of the number of teams entered or the number of games played, but that's just my hunch." he added.
"I trust the league will make the best decision for the safety of its players and fans," said Farwell.
Late Thursday, OHL Commissioner David Branch released the following statement:
"Following consultation with medical professionals, the National Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League, Hockey Canada, the CHL Board of Directors as well as the OHL Board of Governors, it was determined that all hockey activity in the OHL be paused until further notice as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"In the best interest of the health of our players, member team staff, billets, on and off-ice officials, our great fans as well as the general public, we deemed this to be the best course of action, effective immediately. We will continue to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19 in the hope of continuing play at a point when it is safe to do so.
"We thank all Ontario Hockey League players and their families as well as staff and fans from across the League for their patience and encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions to ensure continued health and wellness."
The #CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey related activity shall be paused immediately until further notice.— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) March 12, 2020
STATEMENT 📰: https://t.co/nI1HuSoAF7 pic.twitter.com/PapQjL99es