SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The AHL released the February schedule for the Canadian Division on February 9th, following the completion of the league’s opening weekend. All five Canadian teams play between four to eight games with the Laval Rocket and Belleville Senators starting as soon as Friday night.
So far, the schedule is broken down into four-game series. The Manitoba Moose and Toronto Marlies open their season on February 15 and the Stockton Heat will open their season on February 21. More schedule details can be found below.
The AHL has released the February schedule of games for the five teams in the Canadian Division. pic.twitter.com/huVUB76y4l
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) February 9, 2021
The Belleville Senators and Toronto Marlies have been unable to get approval from the province of Ontario to play this season, and this is likely the reason for schedule delays and only releasing this month’s portion so far. At this time, they are only allowing NHL play in the province. As the schedule notes, they will be playing all their games at away venues in Montreal or Calgary this month. Hopefully, by the time the rest of the schedule is released, they are able to play in their normal home venues or find a more permanent location for the remainder of the season.
The Stockton Heat are not playing in their normal California venue as their local county did not approve their request to play the season in Stockton due to the current status of COVID-19 in that area. The team confirmed earlier in the month they will be playing their season in Calgary, Alberta in the same venue as their NHL affiliate the Calgary Flames. This will greatly ease the process of call-ups and keep their players in a controlled environment that will not be affected by international travel.
Not all Canadian NHL teams have their AHL affiliate local to them. However, the majority are lucky this season with both isolated divisions. The Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Winnipeg Jets will all have their AHL teams in close proximity. The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers will have to work with local travel guidelines when it comes to call-ups from the Utica Comets and Bakersfield Condors.
The league has noted the rest of the schedule will be released at a later date, but for now, we have some exciting Canadian Division hockey to watch as soon as this Friday when the Laval Rocket and Belleville Senators open up their season at 7:00 pm (EST).
Paige Siewert covers the AHL’s Stockton Heat for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with her on Twitter @SinBinHeat!