LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The American Hockey League (AHL), which serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL), has canceled the rest of the 2019-2020 season and playoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The president and CEO of the league, David Andrews, announced the season’s cancellation on Monday.
“After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions. 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 continues to place paramount importance on the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and fans and all of their families, and we all look forward to returning to our arenas in 2020-21.”
President and CEO of AHL, David Andrews
According to the press release, the current standings for the season, which are sorted by points percentage, are considered “final and official.” The statistics as of March 12, 2020 will serve as the basis for determining the league’s awards for the shortened season.
The AHL team for the Vegas Golden Knights is the Chicago Wolves.
The NHL paused the season on March 12 as well and has continued to extend its players and staff’s isolation period since then. There has been no exact date announced, if or when, the season will continue.
At the end of April, the NHLPA and the NHL said that if “conditions continue to trend favorably,” they could move to Phase 2 in the “mid-to-later portion of May.” Phase 2 would allow players to return to small group activities at training facilities.
The organization issued the following statement regarding the continuing pause in the 2019-20 season:
“Despite numerous reports and speculation over the last several days, the NHL and the NHLPA have not made any decisions or set a timeline for possible return to play scenarios.
Given recent developments in some NHL Clubs’ local communities, we are now looking ahead to a Phase 2 of the transition period that would follow the currently recommended Phase 1 period of “self-quarantine” by Players and Hockey Staff.
The precise date of transition to Phase 2, during which Players might return to small group activities in NHL Club training facilities, remains undetermined. However, provided that conditions continue to trend favorably – and, subject to potential competitive concerns as between disparately situated markets – we believe we may be able to move to Phase 2 at some point in the mid-to-later portion of May.”
NHLPA and NHL