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Sabres cancel team meeting, media availability as NHL ponders next steps

MONTREAL – The Buffalo Sabres canceled meetings and media availability Thursday morning in Bell Centre as the team awaits word on whether the novel coronavirus will cause the NHL to suspend its season.

The NHL announced Thursday morning that all morning skates, practices and team meetings will be canceled until the league decides the next course of action. The Sabres were scheduled to hold team meetings this morning in Montreal, followed by media availability with coach Ralph Krueger and players. Buffalo is scheduled to play the Canadiens tonight at 7 p.m., the first of 13 games remaining on the Sabres' regular-season schedule.

The NHL is holding a call with its Board of Governors at 1 p.m. Eastern. The NBA suspended its season late Wednesday night after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert recently played NBA road games in Toronto, Detroit, Boston and New York, all of which have a mix-use facility that host NHL games.

Switzerland and Germany are among the European-based hockey leagues to cancel their seasons. The NHL already had barred scouts from traveling overseas and many teams ordered their employees to not make any trips across North America.

The NHL released a one-paragraph statement shortly after the NBA announced its decision to suspend the season: "The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA's decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for coronavirus. The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow."

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