Senators support suspension of NHL season due to COVID-19
'The health and safety of our community, fans, players and staff remain our top priority'
The Ottawa Senators stand behind the NHL's decision to suspend the season due to the spread of COVID-19, the team announced Thursday.
The NHL made the decision after a 1 p.m. ET phone call on Thursday between commissioner Gary Bettman and team owners.
Shortly after, the Senators released a statement indicating the team's support.
"We are fully supportive of the measures taken by the NHL to suspend operations during the outbreak of the coronavirus," the statement reads.
"The health and safety of our community, fans, players and staff remain our top priority as this situation continues to develop. We are in touch with our event partners and taking the advice of public health authorities in regards to our other areas of operations with the highest priority on keeping our community safe."
Team heading home
The Senators last played in Los Angeles, Calif., on Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Kings.
Earlier Thursday, all NHL clubs were advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings amid efforts to contain the spread of the virus
The Senators were scheduled to travel to Chicago for their next game, but will instead return home to Ottawa.
If the NHL is eventually forced to go a step further and cancel the 2019-20 season and playoffs, it would mark the third time in its history the Stanley Cup hasn't been awarded.
The Spanish flu forced the cancellation of the 1919 Cup final, while the entire 2004-05 campaign was lost to a lockout.