AHL Cancels Remainder of 2019-2020 Season

The American Hockey League (AHL) announced on Monday that it will be cancelling the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. The announcement was made following a Board of Governors conference call that was held on Friday. According to TSN, some teams wanted the weekend to speak with sponsors prior to the official announcement. The call on Friday with the board of governors lasted less than 20 minutes.

The AHL joined the NHL in suspending its season back on March 12. The AHL differs from the NHL in that it relies heavily on revenue generated from ticket and concession sales, and does not have a lucrative television deal like the NHL. It’s been reported that 75-to-85% of AHL revenues for teams come from ticket sales.

As for the Hershey Bears, they finish the 2019-2020 season in second place of the Atlantic Division, just one standings point behind the Providence Bruins, and finish with the third-best record in the AHL behind Providence and Milwaukee.

The next question to be answered for the Bears and the AHL is when will they be able to hold games with fans in the stands, as empty arena games are not a fiscal option. The League has said it is looking at several options including looking at a potential start to the 2020-2021 season as late as December, although no decisions have been made.

“The safety and health of our players, coaches, staff, fans, and community has always been of the utmost importance, so we understand and support the difficult decision made by the American Hockey League to end the season due to this global health pandemic,” said Vice President of Hockey Operations, Bryan Helmer.

“We firmly believe we had a great chance of bringing a championship to Chocolatetown this year,” said Helmer. “We are very disappointed that we will not get to see that goal achieved for our team and, most importantly, for our tremendous fans. However, during this difficult time, the health and safety of our community needs to be the number one priority.”

A comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions is available HERE for season ticket holders, club seat holders,and those who purchased tickets to cancelled games

As for the Capitals prospects, the next question to be answered is who/how many will be able to join the Capitals roster when the NHL re-starts it’s 2019-2020 season. Because of the nature of the restart to the season, and a very compacted schedule for concluding the 2019-2020 season and playing the 2020-2021 season, an increase in injuries could be very likely. One can foresee an increased roster size at the NHL level, without salary cap limitations, although no decision has officially been made.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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