GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The American Hockey League’s Board Of Governors met yesterday to determine which teams were in or out for an abbreviated 2021 American Hockey League regular season. This came after the league determined a start date of February 5, 2021 to begin playing.
The Griffins determined that they would be participating in the upcoming season, along with 27 other teams that will also be playing. The three teams who opted out are the Charlotte Checkers, Springfield Thunderbirds, and the Griffins long time division rival, the Milwaukee Admirals.
The Central Division looks to remain the same, including the addition of the Cleveland Monsters. Joining Grand Rapids and Cleveland in the Central Division are the Chicago Wolves, Iowa Wild, Rockford IceHogs, and Texas Stars.
28 teams will be participating in @TheAHL's 2020-21 season, which opens Feb. 5
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) January 4, 2021
With the season now a month away, there are many roster decisions that will need to be determined by the Detroit Red Wings. It is expected that Turner Elson, Joe Hicketts, Dylan McIlrath, Taro Hirose, Dominic Turgeon, Kyle Criscuolo, Riley Barber, Chase Pearson, Givani Smith, Gustav Lindstrom, Brian Lashoff, and Kevin Boyle, who are in training camp with the Detroit Red Wings, are expected to be on the Griffins roster to open the season.
It has been nearly 11 months since the last time the Griffins played hockey. The team is expecting to begin the season without fans, but there are plans in place to have fans at the Van Andel Arena as soon as they are allowed.
The season is expected to begin around February 5th and end in mid-May, with additional schedule details and post-season format still to be determined.
Anthony Noffke covers the Grand Rapids Griffins for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SinBinGriffins to keep up to date on all things Griffins hockey!