As has been expected for several weeks, today’s announcement made it official: the 2019-20 American Hockey League season is over, and there will be no playoffs this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the league shutdown back in March, and as the weeks wore on, various leagues across North America and around the world made the decision to forego any further play this season. The American Hockey League was, until today, one of just two leagues officially with their season on pause. The other is the National Hockey League featuring the continent’s top professional teams.
In terms of local impact, this affects Remi Elie, who calls Green Valley home. The 25-year-old returned to the region from Rochester, N.Y., a few days following the initial announcement of a season pause.
He’s a member of the Americans, which followed suit today with this statement.
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.
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.
Green Valley’s Remi Elie potted his sixth goal of the AHL season in February 16 hockey action, helping his Rochester Americans, farm club of the NHL Buffalo Sabres, to a 3-2 victory over the Utica Comets.
The AHL Rochester Americans have hit a bit of a rough patch, mired in a seven-game losing skid, though the team has picked up two points over that stretch as two of the defeats came in shootouts.
Remi Elie potted the lone goal for the Amerks on January 19, when the squad fell 4-1 to the Hershey Bears. The defeat capped off back-to-back-to-back weekend losses, following a 4-0 shutout by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and a 4-3 shootout loss to the Cleveland Monsters.
On the season, Elie has 8 points in 17 games and is a +1 ranking. The Amerks, owing to their recent results, have slipped in the standings, now sitting third in the North Division, with a record of 21-13-2-4, six points behind the division-leading Belleville Senators, albeit with games in hand.
The 24-year-old Elie has seen limited action this season due to injury. He had been sidelined since a November 2 game that saw the forward notch a pair of assists. Elie, who was a 2013 second-round draft selection of the NHL by the Dallas Stars, returned to the Americans roster on December 31. His second game back was the aforementioned contest with the Senators, which finished as a 4-3 OT victory. Elie had five shots on goal.
He also played against the Toronto Marlies on January 4, putting up two shots.
On the season, Elie has 7 points in 11 games.
He’s been part of the Buffalo Sabres organization for the past two seasons. The Americans are Buffalo’s AHL affiliate.
Green Valley’s Remi Elie, in his second season with the AHL Rochester Americans, farm club of the Buffalo Sabres, is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury labelled as day-to-day.
The 24-year-old forward has seen action in eight games this season, notching 2 goals and 4 assists. He last played on November 2, when he put up a pair of helpers against the Utica Comets, in a 6-0 victory.
Green Valley’s Sara Carriere is seeing plenty of time on the soccer pitch as a member of the Concordia University Stingers varsity women’s team this season, despite this being her first year at the U-Sports level, and she tells me that she is loving every minute of it.
The 2019 graduate of École secondairecatholique Le Relais, in Alexandria, is studying sociology at Concordia, balancing the academic demands with those of a varsity athlete. The 5ft. 4in, forward had three assists in 10 matches played this season, before suffering a minor concussion in a game versus McGill. She’s expecting to be back in the Stingers lineup for Friday night’s scheduled fixture versus Sherbrooke. The following weekend, Concordia is booked to play Montreal and UQTR to wrap up regular-season action.
“School is going good,” Carriere tells me, adding that she is “loving the city and [has] made lot of friends.” She is, however, looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends back home in Glengarry over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Stingers have a record of 1 win, 7 losses, and 3 ties on the season, for sixth place in the eight-team RQEQ league.
For the second straight NHL hockey season, Green Valley’s Remi Elie found himself on waivers. This time it was the Buffalo Sabres, who only months ago had inked the 24-year-old to a new $700,000 US one-year, two-way contract.
The Sabres announced the signing of the restricted free agent on August 1. Elie joined the Sabres midway through last season, following a claim off waivers from the Dallas Stars, who had drafted the Glengarrian in 2013. He saw action in 16 games over the 2018-19 season with the Sabres, counting one assist, before being loaned to the AHL affiliate Rochester Americans. There, Elie had 14 points in 28 games.
The forward had been in the Sabres training camp until Monday, when he was placed on waivers, along with three other players, as the club reduced its NHL roster in preparation for the start of the season. Elie cleared waivers today and was transferred to the AHL Americans, along with teammates Curtis Lazar, Scott Wilson, and Casey Nelson, all of whom cleared waivers.
The Amerks had a decent 2018-19 season, finishing second in the North Division with 99 points. Their new campaign is slated to begin Friday night, when Rochester hosts the Syracuse Crunch.
Remi Elie, from Green Valley, will be part of the NHL Buffalo Sabres training camp when it opens tomorrow, September 12, as the team today announced its roster of players competing for opening day spots.
Last season, Elie, under contract with the Sabres, split his time between the NHL club (0 goals, 1 assist in 16 games) and the AHL Rochester Americans (8 G, 6 A, 25 GP).
As I reported last month (see this post), the 24-year-old signed a one-year, $700,000 two-way contract with the Sabres for this season, meaning the team can use him at the NHL level, or option him to the AHL affiliate, as they did for the second half of last year.
Buffalo’s training camp opens with physicals, testing, and media availability. Inter-squad games follow over the next three days. The Sabres’ first exhibition action is scheduled for September 16, versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Green Valley native Remi Elie has re-signed with the NHL Buffalo Sabres. inking a one-year, two-way contract for the league minimum.
The Sabres announced the signing of the restricted free agent on August 1. Elie joined the Sabres midway through last season, following a claim off waivers from the Dallas Stars, who had drafted the Glengarrian in 2013. The 24-year-old saw action in 16 games over the 2018-19 season with the Sabres, counting one assist, before being loaned to the AHL affiliate Rochester Americans. There, Elie had 14 points in 28 games.
With a $700,000 two-way contract, the Sabres have the option to use Elie (a 6 ft 1 in, 215 lb left winger) at either the NHL or AHL level.