SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson announced today that the 2020-21 season will include 28 teams when it gets underway on February 5. The Utica Comets officially chose to opt into the season.
“We are extremely fortunate to be in a situation where we are able to opt into the 2020-21 AHL season,” said Comets President Robert Esche. “This is the first big step towards bringing our community back to the Adirondack Bank Center in a safe and healthy manner.”
The AHL will operate in five divisions this season. Further details, including schedule formats and playoffs, are still to be determined.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Hartford Wolf Pack
(all pending provincial government approval)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Grand Rapids Griffins
Henderson Silver Knights
San Diego Gulls
San Jose Barracuda
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.
The Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds have elected to opt out of play for the 2020-21 season. All three teams will return to play in 2021-22.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.