BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The news hockey fans in Birmingham, Alabama have been waiting to hear was finally released Tuesday afternoon. The SPHL announced the 2020-21 season will be an abbreviated one. Only five of the leagues ten teams will take the ice this season and they will play a 42-game schedule beginning on December 26. Birmingham along with Huntsville, Knoxville, Macon, and Pensacola will make up the five-team league.
When reached for comment, the Birmingham Bulls Vice President of Marketing and Communications, David Koonce had this to say, “We truly wish all the teams were able to participate this season, but we are excited to move forward and get back to playing hockey.”
What does this mean for the Bulls? It means no long-distance road trips to cities like Moline and Peoria, Illinois.
It also means the chance of new players donning the Birmingham jersey this season. Part of the abbreviated season will include players that had been signed by Evansville, Fayetteville, Peoria, Quad Cities, or Roanoke are now free agents and can be signed by any of the five teams playing in 20-21. Currently, Birmingham has resigned; Harrison Harper, Tommy Tsicos, Russell Jordan, Cole Stallard, and Peter De Coppi. Joining those five players will be the new faces of, forward Evan Scott, defenseman Thomas Lenchyshyn, and goaltender Taylor Dupuis.
Another question will be social distancing at the games. At the time of this article, there’s no definitive answer on how the Bulls and City of Pelham will handle the seating and possible need for social distancing.
The Birmingham Bulls will open the 2020-21 season with a home game against the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The rest of the schedule will be released at a later date.