NHL

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes the Stanley Cup will still be awarded this season

The Bruins lead the NHL with 100 points.

The Bruins were closing in on the Presidents' Trophy before the season was paused. Winslow Townson/AP Photo

The NHL season is paused for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus outbreak, but league commissioner Gary Bettman is still optimistic that the season will be completed and a Stanley Cup champion will be crowned.

“I believe that in a credible, sensible way, we’ll be able to at some point complete the season and get through the playoffs and award the Stanley Cup,” Bettman said in an interview with NHL Network Friday night.

The NHL paused its season on Thursday morning, hours after the NBA suspended its season following Rudy Gobert’s positive test for the virus. MLB followed suit later Thursday.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said his league’s hiatus will last “at least 30 days.” Bettman was asked about a potential timetable for when games could possibly resume in the NHL, but he couldn’t specify on an exact time frame.

“I don’t see how I could set a time frame one way or another,” Bettman said. “It’s just a number and there are people in the medical community in charge with governmental decision that will make the decision when it’s safe, to occupy our buildings with or without fans. At the end of the day, a number is just a number.”

At the time of the pause, the Bruins led the NHL with 100 points. There are just 12 games left on their regular-season schedule, which was supposed to conclude April 4.

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