The USHL became the latest league to cancel the remainder of its season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced on Wednesday morning. The NAHL did the same.
In addition, the AHL is expected to pull the trigger on their season in a matter of days. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced that it will conduct its draft online.
“The NAHL and its Board of Governors did everything in our power to preserve a modified playoff and Robertson Cup Finals to ensure our players had every opportunity to compete for and win a Robertson Cup Championship. The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation of cancelling all events of 50 or more people during the next eight weeks made that reality impossible without dramatically disrupting the rest of our hockey calendar. All NAHL teams will move forward with their tryout camp schedule, which is currently outside the CDC window,” NAHL CommissionerMark Frankenfeld said in a statement.
“We have had an incredible and memorable 2019-20 season up until this point, so this is a very sad day for everyone associated with the NAHL. We share that disappointment with all of our teams, parents, billet families, staff, sponsors, and fans. However, the biggest disappointment we have today is for our players. They are the backbone of the NAHL and we are blessed to have some incredible players and talent in our league. However, the safety of our hockey community, including all of our players, is our top priority and the decision to cancel the remainder of the season was necessary and in the best interest of everyone involved,” continued Frankenfeld.
The Centers for Disease Control recommended that no gatherings of at least 50 people be held for eight weeks, pushing back the original timeline on when the NHL hoped to resume its paused season. If that’s the case, the NHL wouldn’t likely resume until around May 10.
The players pitched a plan on Tuesday to finish the rest of the regular season in late July and the Stanley Cup Playoffs in September, which would push the start of the 2020-21 season back a month.
In addition to the NAHL canceling the remainder of the season, the NAHL also announced that all2020 NAHL Combines, thePrep Invitationalin Chicago in late March, and the18U Top Prospects Tournamentin Blaine in May, have all been suspended. The NAHL is committed to rescheduling these events as soon as possible.
In the coming weeks, the NAHL will announce its 2019-20 season awards. The 2020 NAHL Draft is scheduled to take place online at nahl.com on Tuesday, June 2nd at 1pm (central) and can also be seen live on HockeyTV.
Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077