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The NHL elects to temporarily suspend the remainder of the regular season

The universe is a cruel mistress, friends.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and in the interest of protecting the health and safety of its players and fans, the NHL has followed the NBA’s lead and postponed the rest of the season with the intent to restart it at a later date. Here is the full press release from the league:

Ahead of the announcement, we learned that the Wells Fargo Center would close today for disinfection:

“In light of the ongoing coronavirus situation and out of an abundance of caution, the Wells Fargo Center’s facilities are undergoing an extensive cleaning and sanitization on Thursday, March 12. To facilitate this, non-essential Wells Fargo Center employees are working from home today.

Today’s Wells Fargo Center events will be rescheduled. Tickets will be honored for a later date or will be refunded at the point of purchase.

The health and safety of our employees and guests is our highest priority. We will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus situation and will share information as it becomes available.”

The Flyers were scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Amalie Arena. There is no word yet on when play will resume, how the rest of the season will be handled, or how this will affect the playoffs. Everything is up in the air at present.

The Flyers will freeze in place with 89 total points, for second place in the Metropolitan Division behind Washington. If the playoffs begin with standings as they are, the Flyers will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. But we don’t know how this is going to shake out. Right now, the clear intent of the NHL is to restart the regular season and let this all play out, but this is uncharted territory and we will provide updates as soon as we get additional information.

The best way we can all help to get this situation under control is to protect ourselves and others from contracting the virus in the first place. The CDC provides several steps one can take to limit exposure and prevent the spread of the disease, and most of them are simple and common sense:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

We’re all in this together, folks. Take care of yourselves and each other.