One of the worst kept secrets in hockey became public on Thursday. The NHL’s top minor league, the AHL, officially announced that the 2020-21 season has been postponed. The season was set to start in October. Now, the AHL will not play until December 4th at the earliest.
Sources close to the AHL had informed ‘The Oilers Rig’ in May that initial expectations where a December 15th start for the league. That shifted up eleven days when the NHL announced their plan to start the 2020-21 season on December 1st.
The league’s Board of Governors approved this decision during their annual meeting today. The meeting was conducted via conference call.
Here is what the AHL said in their official release earlier this afternoon.
At the recommendation of the AHL’s Return to Play Task Force, the Board of Governors has approved moving the anticipated start of the 2020-21 regular season to December 4, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The AHL will continue to work with its member clubs to monitor developments and local guidelines in all 31 league cities.
Further details regarding the 2020-21 American Hockey League schedule are still to be determined.
John Hoven reported earlier this week that an early December start for the AHL would include a 72-game schedule. The league is also, according to his report, considering an abbreviated 60-game schedule that could start on January 1st.
The Oilers AHL affiliate is the Bakersfield Condors. They play in the Pacific Division.