PRINCETON, N.J. – At long last, the 2020-21 ECHL team lineup has been finalized.
This afternoon, the ECHL announced the Fort Wayne Komets will begin a 50-game season on February 12, 2020, while the Toledo Walleye have opted-out for the coming season.
The Walleye join the Kalamazoo Wings, Idaho Steelheads, Cincinnati Cyclones, Newfoundland Growlers, Reading Royals, Maine Mariners, Adirondack Thunder, Worcester Railers, Brampton Beast, Atlanta Gladiators, and Norfolk Admirals as teams that are on the sidelines for this season. The league says all the opted-out teams will return for the 2021-22 season.
Like past situations where teams have opted out, the Walleye’s players who were signed to contracts will now become unrestricted free agents. Additionally, the team’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, will now be looking for a home for players when their season begins in early February.
Fort Wayne joins Indy, Wheeling, South Carolina, Greenville, Florida, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tulsa, Kansas City, Wichita, Allen, Rapid City, and Utah as teams who are playing this season. The 14 teams that will finish the season will be the lowest amount since the 1991-92 season, when 15 teams played.
The league says the schedule for the remainder of the 2020-21 season, plus the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoff format will be announced soon.
This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information surfaces.
Matthew Harding is the Editor-in-Chief for TheSinBin.net, covers the ECHL and the Wichita Thunder. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SinBinThunder.