Photo: Charlotte Checkers
The AHL announced on Monday that three teams have opted out of the 2020-21 season: the Charlotte Checkers, the Springfield Thunderbirds, and Milwaukee Admirals. The season will proceed with 28 teams.
The Checkers are the Florida Panthers’ minor league affiliate. The Thunderbirds are the St. Louis Blues’ and the Admirals are the Nashville Predators’.
The Vancouver Canucks announced that they will share the Utica Comets as an AHL affiliate with the Blues this season.
The three NHL clubs will likely not have the luxury of an expanded taxi squad for the 2020-21 season, which is slated to open on Wednesday, January 13. Every NHL club is required to carry between 27-29 skaters and at least three goalies this season.
The AHL is targeting a February 5 start.
AHL schedule is not finalized yet, but will feature varying schedule lengths by division. Minimum is 24 games played per team.
Pacific division is aiming for 38-42 GP. Other divisions will range from high of 40 GP down to 24 GP.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 4, 2021
The AHL will operate in five divisions this season. Further details, including schedule formats and playoffs, are still to be determined.
Four teams have been granted provisional relocations for the 2020-21 season: the Binghamton Devils will play in Newark, N.J.; the Ontario Reign will play in El Segundo, Calif.; the Providence Bruins will play in Marlborough, Mass.; and the San Diego Gulls will play in Irvine, Calif.
By Harrison Brown