The day after the NHL announced that it would be pausing the season due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the hope of resuming games when "appropriate and prudent," Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed how the league might proceed.
"We're going to have to rely on others as to when it's safe, which is why people can speculate but nobody can predict with certainty (when the return will be)," Bettman said, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com. "Nobody knows how long the hiatus may be. Nobody, even the medical community, can predict it with certainty. And what we're doing is, we're modeling every conceivable alternative so that when it's appropriate to go back to work, we will know what our options (are)."
Adding that the league doesn't know "what the pieces are yet," Bettman said they're trying to "model every conceivable alternative."
"We're looking at the calendar," Bettman said, per Cotsonika. "We're looking at what we think is and isn't doable in terms of a timeframe to continue to play. Obviously it's conceivable that we'll play beyond the time we were originally scheduled to conclude."
Bettman talked Thursday night about why the NHL used the word "pause" instead of "suspend."
"I'm a little hesitant to use the word suspension, because our hope and our expectation is, when things get back to normal and it's safe and it's prudent, that we can go back and resume the season and ultimately have the Stanley Cup awarded," he said, according to Cotsonika.
The season for the Islanders was suspended with 14 games remaining in the regular season and them one point out of a Wild Card spot.
The Isles, who are 35-23-10 and have 80 points, trail the Blue Jackets (81 points) and Hurricanes (81 points) in the Wild Card race.