Is the cancellation of the 2019-20 AHL season inevitable?

On April 27, TSN reported a story from the Associated Press indicating that the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 American Hockey League season is likely.

Play was stopped On March 12, when the professional hockey association that serves as a feeder system to the NHL announced, “With the health and safety of our players, officials, staff, and fans of primary importance, the American Hockey League has announced the suspension of play until further notice, effective immediately, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The AHL will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the 2019-20 season at the appropriate time.”

Initially, players were sent to their home team cities, if they weren’t already there. This included Green Valley’s Remi Elie, who plays for the Rochester Americans, farm club of the NHL Buffalo Sabres.

By March 16, the league’s advice to teams had changed, as players were encouraged to leave their teams, returning to their hometown. Clubs were asked to “facilitate the return of AHL players to their primary residences.”

The expectation at the time was that play would resume at some point, but no sooner than May.

At the stoppage, the Americans sat in second place of the North Division, 75 points on 62 games, with 14 regular-season games remaining.

The 25-year-old Elie recorded 13 points and 10 penalty minutes in 34 matches this season with the Rochester team.

According to the recent news story, it’s “quite likely the American Hockey League will cancel the remainder of its season because of the new coronavirus pandemic, though officially the AHL has stated no announcement is imminent. It is understood that the league has already moved on to planning for the 2020-21 campaign.

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Following the March stoppage of sports across North America, one league after the other announced cancellations of remaining action. At this point, the only leagues currently on pause are the AHL and NHL.

One summer league, the province’s junior ‘C’ lacrosse loop, has already pulled the plug on its 2020 campaign without having played a game.

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