With the worldwide negative development of COVID-19, KHL President Alexey Morozov announced the end of the KHL season 2019-2020.
With the words: “Unfortunately we have to end the season early. This decision was not an easy one. I am sure that all fans wanted to see the sequel to the Gagarin Cup Playoffs with us. In this situation, however, the health of players and their families, club employees, employees of sports facilities and of course fans is much more important. We believe that nobody has the right to take responsibility for people’s lives and health,” said Alexey Morozov.
The KHL had previously considered shifting the other games towards summer, and had created a scenario from April 30, in which the championship was to last until June and July. These solutions are currently unthinkable and, Morozov said, the clubs need security to be able to make plans for the future. The KHL and its president are already looking to the future: “The league had to make an informed decision and communicate the rules of the game to everyone. I think we should also try to make sure that the current situation doesn’t affect the next season in any way, that it starts in the usual time for teams and fans, and that the game calendar is rhythmic and balanced.“
With a solution until July, the still active teams should have completely changed their summer plans and preparation for the coming season. That would have had a negative impact on the season. The start of the season would not have been postponed and the very tight KHL schedule would have resulted in a reduction in games in a row. The question of player contracts and transfer time would also have had to be settled. KHL reasonably did not take these factors and risks and ended the current season. In sporting terms, this decision means that for the first time there will be no winner of the Gagarin Cup. Sibir Novosibirsk General Manager Kirill Fastovsky, compared to “RIA Sport”, sees this step as the 100% correct step. As a reminder, Sibir is one of the eight teams still in the competition.
IIHF President Rene Fasel also announced at “RIA Novosti” an explanation of the step taken by the KHL: “The KHL made the right decision and ended the season early. I can’t imagine that they can finish playing this season. If you want to play next season, this season must be canceled and closed. The KHL made the right and brave decision.”
KHL President Alexey Morozov also understands those who are upset about the cancellation. Now it is better to follow the recommendations of health organizations. With the probably very personal quote: “Take care of yourself and your loved ones. We’ll see each other again at ice hockey very soon”, Morozov finished the news about the cancellation of the current season.