German, Austrian hockey leagues end current seasons due to virus concerns

Adler Mannheim Eagles, North American Scout Todd Hlushko joins Hockey Central to talk about German and Austrian hockey leagues ending their seasons prior to the start of the playoffs amidst COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, the top hockey league in Austria, has announced it is ending its current season amid concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The Erste Bank Eishockey Liga has to end the current season,” the league announced via a release. “With this action, the League is responding to the measures and recommendations of the governments and competent authorities in the participating countries.”

The Austrian league was in the midst of its post-season quarterfinals, but will see its playoffs conclude without a champion.

A similar announcement was made Tuesday by the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top league in Germany, which has also elected to end its current campaign early due to health concerns.

Measures have been taken throughout the sporting world and beyond to respond to the outbreak, with hopes of limiting the spread of the virus after over 100,000 cases have surfaced worldwide.

The hockey world has begun to see various tournaments cancelled as a result, most notably the 2020 IIHF women’s world championship, which was to be held in Halifax and Truro in late March.

In North America, the major professional leagues have announced measures to limit contact between players and non-essential team personnel, limiting their contact with fans and members of the media.


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