SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The American Hockey League Board of Governors met Monday to finalize a plan for the 2021 AHL season.
Teams were given the option to opt-out of playing this season – Springfield, Milwaukee, and Charlotte all exercised the option and will not participate in the 2021 season. According to the AHL, all three teams will return for the 2021-22 season.
The 28 remaining teams will play a condensed schedule — at least 24 games — starting February 5 and operating in five divisions.
28 teams will be participating in @TheAHL's 2020-21 season, which opens Feb. 5
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) January 4, 2021
Additionally, four teams have been granted provisional relocations for this season:
4 AHL teams have been granted provisional relocations for the season: Binghamton will play in Newark, N.J.; Ontario will play in El Segundo, Calif.; Providence will play in Marlborough, Mass.; and San Diego will play in Irvine, Calif.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) January 4, 2021
Digging a little deeper, the Binghamton Devils will play at the New Jersey Devils’ practice facility; the Ontario Reign will play at the Los Angeles Kings’ practice facility; while the San Diego Gulls will use the Anaheim Ducks’ practice facility in Irvine, Calif. The Providence Bruins will at the New England Sports Center, located in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
The teams that have opted out are now scurrying to find homes for their players, with training camps set to open in a matter of weeks. The St. Louis Blues announced late Monday their contracted players will be going to Utica for this season:
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 4, 2021
The AHL has yet to solidify plans for game schedules and a playoff format.
Stay tuned for team-specific news and follow The Sin Bin for updates as this story unfolds.