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NHL

A St. Louis Blues fan watches a game during the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2019. The NHL has canceled the remaining games in the season due to concerns over the new coronavirus.
File photo | Brian Heffernan | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Hockey League abruptly suspended its season Thursday to keep the new coronavirus from spreading.

The announcement comes after several other major sports organizations have canceled or delayed games due to concerns over the virus, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

In a statement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said teams would resume play “as soon as it is appropriate and prudent” — but did not specify a date. 

Not even Gary Bettman knew the name of the first black hockey player in the National Hockey League when he became league commissioner in 1993.

Bettman has since hired Willie O'Ree, who broke the NHL's color barrier when he skated for the Boston Bruins in 1958, as a league ambassador, part of what the league is doing to make its game more diverse.

The Enterprise Center in St. Louis played host to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Native St. Louisan and actor Jon Hamm was back with a video message before the NHL All-Star Game. Charles Glenn returned to sing the national anthem. Laila Anderson, the superfan battling a rare immune disease who inspired the St. Louis Blues last season, introduced the Blues players who made the team.

Saturday night’s All-Star Game at Enterprise Center had a distinctly St. Louis feel.

Players on the defending Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues were eliminated in their first game. The single-elimination tournament pitted the NHL’s four divisions against one another.

Mascots will face off in a kid-sized hockey rink in one of several activity rooms at the 2020 NHL Fan Fair, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Union Station. Jan. 22, 2020
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Blues will play host to the National Hockey League’s All-Star festivities this weekend for only the third time in the team’s history. 

And this year’s celebration of all things hockey comes with the Blues sitting at the top of the mountain as Stanley Cup champions and this season's Western Conference points leader.

St. Louis Blues fans embrace after a long-awaited first Stanley Cup win for the franchise. They joined thousands who watched the historic win on the video board at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. June 12, 2019
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has the Blues, and fans can't get enough of them.

In its 52nd season in the National Hockey League, the hockey team — the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues — hoisted the prized trophy for the first time after defeating the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, 4-1, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston.

It was history. The kind of put-down-your-phone-and-yell history that fans — old and new — will remember for the rest of their lives.

Where were you when the Blues won the Stanley Cup?

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Next winter will serve as a curtain call for the head coach of the St. Louis Blues.

Ken Hitchcock has agreed to another one-year contract with the National Hockey League team and he says it will be his final year as a coach.

“I want one-year deals because it allows me to do the things I need to do,” Hitchcock told reporters gathered Tuesday at Scottrade Center for the Blues' end-of-season news conference.

“But I'm telling you right now, this is my last one-year deal. I'm not coaching after this year. This is it.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 11:10 p.m. to correct name and title of team general manager in caption.

The St. Louis Blues have fired head coach Davis Payne, and hired Ken Hitchcock to take his place.

Payne earned a 67-55-15 record with the Blues, but missed the playoffs in both 2010 and 2011. He was the coach of the team's minor league affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, before being named the interim head coach of the Blues on January 2, 2010. The team removed the interim title on April 4, 2010.