After suspending play on March 12 due to the coronavirus, the AHL’s (American Hockey League) board of governors voted to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 season including the playoffs on Monday.
The NHL’s top minor league said in a statement. “The League’s operational focus has turned toward actively preparing for the 2020-21 season. We are very grateful to the National Hockey League and its teams for their support and leadership in navigating through the challenges faced over the past two months.”
The AHL’s standings – sorted by points percentage – and statistics as of March 12, 2020, are considered final and official, and will serve as the basis for determining league awards for the 2019-20 season. The Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) topped the league at 41-14-5-3.
In operation since 1936, 90 percent of current NHLers are graduates and more than 100 members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time on the AHL.
What does this mean for the NHL?
While hockey fans view the AHL and NHL as similar organizations, nothing is further from the truth.
The NHL has more resources at its disposal than the gate driven AHL such as television ratings for games played this summer. Even without fans. ratings would be off the charts. The NHL wants to increase its media footprint, and that alone is reason to resume play.
Some AHL players will be called up to the big teams because of the presumed expanded rosters for the proposed 24 team playoff tournament.