The novel coronavirus is forcing the cancellation of more hockey across the globe.
Sunday, the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan had their seasons ended by the Swedish Hockey Federation. There will be no playoffs, no championship titles will be handed out, and every team will stay in the league they played in this season.
Current and former Capitals players who have played in the Swedish professional leagues include Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, Jakub Vrana, Filip Forsberg, and Martin Fehervary.
Expected decision from the Swedish Hockey Federation today: the 2019/20 season in Sweden is done. No playoffs, no relegation games and no championship titles will be handed out. Every team will stay put in the league they played in this season. #COVID19sverige #COVIDー19
— Uffe Bodin (@UffeBodin) March 15, 2020
The news of the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan closing its doors comes a day after the ECHL, the lesser of the NHL’s two minor league affiliates, opted to end its season early.
The Swedish Hockey Federation made the decision due to the safety of its fans and players.
“The coronavirus creates great concern and uncertainty throughout society,” the Swedish Hockey Federation said in a statement. “For us, the most important thing right now is to do what we can for society at large, but also to put health first for players, leaders, officials, and the public.”
More from the Swedish Hockey Federation via Google Translate:
Due to the continued risk of the spread of the coronavirus, the authorities and government have continuously sharpened and updated recommendations and decisions. As a result, there are no prerequisites for playing the completed ice hockey season 2019/2020. Therefore, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association’s Board of Directors unanimously decided to end the 2019-2020 season, which means that all games in SHL, SDHL, Hockeyallsvenskan and Hockeyettan, including SM playoffs and all qualifying games, are canceled.
Today, Sunday, a unified federal board of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association has decided to end all games in SHL, SDHL, Hockeyallsvenskan and Hockeyettan, including the SM playoffs and all qualifying games. The decision was made after dialogue with all the league organizations.
The decision means that:
- All games in all leagues including playoffs and qualifiers are canceled for the 2019/2020 season.
- Since the playoffs cannot be played as planned, the regulations do not allow any Swedish champion to be picked. Therefore, no Swedish Master is chosen in any category.
- As no qualification or playoffs can be played or completed according to the rules, no team can be moved up or downgraded,
all teams that belonged to the season 2019-2020 belonged to SHL, SDHL, Hockeyallsvenskan, and Hockeyettan will belong to the same series also coming season.
- As a result of the decisions that have now been taken, the Federal Board will now review how the licensing regulations will be applied.
The coronavirus creates great concern and uncertainty throughout society. For us, the most important thing right now is to do what we can for society at large, but also to put health first for players, leaders, officials and the public. In recent days, we have had a close dialogue with the league organizations concerned about how to handle the resulting situation, but also in relation to Swedish ice hockey’s competition and series regulations. Therefore, the Federal Board has made the decision to suspend the season for SHL, SDHL Hockeyallsvenskan and Hockeyettan and as a consequence of not distributing any SM gold this year or playing the qualifying round, says Anders Larsson, chairman of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
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