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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on March 13, 2020

NHL season paused due to concerns over coronavirus

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The 2019-20 season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NHL made that call yesterday after much consultation and consideration. That meant last night's game between the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens was not played. 

We don't know when the season will resume, so in the meantime, stay safe and exercise caution. We'll have updates for you here on and our social media platforms as they become available.

Here's what you need to know.


Statement from Pegula Sports & Entertainment

The Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Americans, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks and Pegula Sports & Entertainment are in full support of the NHL's, AHL's and NLL's decisions to pause their respective 2019-2020 seasons.

The health and safety of players, staff and fans is our top priority. We have been monitoring the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and have been reviewing information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Our organizations take the health and safety of our players, staff and fans seriously, and are operating in their best interest. During this pause, we will be working to expand the health and safety standards at KeyBank Center and Blue Cross Arena. 

Together with our food service partner, Delaware North, we are implementing the following protocols as recommended by CDC guidelines:

  • Enhanced sanitization of concessions areas, including expanded cleaning and disinfecting of touch points in food preparation and service areas
  • Enhanced sanitization of high-traffic areas and touchpoints such as elevators and railings frequently throughout arena events
  • Installation of several new alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the arenas
  • Employees have been educated on practices to prevent the spread of disease and have been instructed to comply with the CDC guidelines to stay home from work when experiencing any symptoms

Additionally, Delaware North has issued several specific directives to follow the CDC's recommendations for business:

  • Displaying posters at key locations in the workplace, encouraging employees to stay home when sick, workplace cleaning and disinfecting and hand washing and several other hygiene measures
  • Providing adequate supplies of tissues, hand soaps and alcohol-based hand rubs in multiple and appropriate locations in the workplace
  • Performing environmental cleaning of frequently touched workplace surfaces and providing disposable disinfectant wipes so that employees can wipe down surfaces more often
  • Following additional guidance from the National Restaurant Association specific to food-service operations

We urge all fans and community members to strictly follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of disease, as found on

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask if you're sick
  • Clean and disinfect

Since the NHL, AHL and NLL are planning to reschedule games, please hold on to your tickets. 

For any additional questions for the KeyBank Center ticket office, please contact 1-888-GO-SABRES. Sabres season ticket holders are also encouraged to reach out to their dedicated account representative with any inquiries.

For any questions for the Blue Cross Arena ticket office, please contact 855-GO-AMERKS.

Any announcements on other scheduled events at KeyBank Center and Blue Cross Arena will be made at a later time on a case by case basis. 

The health and safety of our players, staff and fans remains our top priority. We urge the entire community to practice caution during this time. Thank you for your support of the Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Americans, Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks.


The NHL's announcement and NHLPA's response

Tweet from @PR_NHL: The @NHL pauses 2019-20 season.

"We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions - including by self-quarantine, where appropriate," Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

"Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy."

Tweet from @NHLPA: The decision to temporarily suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an appropriate course of action at this time.


Tune in to The Instigators today

It's always worth listening to Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet each day, but they'll have some special guests on when the show starts at 10 a.m. on MSG and WGR 550.

Tweet from @martybiron43: The @NHL and the sports world is on ���PAUSE���. We will have a round table show Friday morning on @TheInstigators from 10am-12pm on @WGR550 and @MSGNetworks. @TheInstigator76, @craigrivet52, @duffersabres and I will discuss. @DarrenDreger will join us as well.

You can catch the full show archive here.

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