FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Fayetteville Marksmen announced Tuesday that they, along with four other teams, will sit out 2020-21 season due to state government restrictions relative to mass gatherings. All signed players will now become free agents, however, the team does own the rights to the players for the 2021-22 season.
The Marksmen had an outstanding 2019-20 season, finishing second overall in the SPHL, prior to the COVID-19 stoppage.
“We are truly disappointed that hockey will not take place in Fayetteville this season. With our 2019-2020 season cut short, we were hungry and ready for hockey to return this season at the Crown Coliseum,” Marksmen President and CEO Chuck Norris said. “Our staff has been working tirelessly to create an all-new experience for our fans and partners like never before, and to have that taken from us is disheartening.”
The announcement came following North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Press Conference last Wednesday. Although North Carolina is finally moving into ‘phase 3’ of their Coronavirus response, the state will still not allow mass gatherings of over 25 people.
Although the players and fans are disappointed, Norris also made it clear that this would not be the end of the Fayetteville Marksmen.
“All of our focus now is on preparations for bringing back Marksmen hockey bigger and better than ever in 2021,” Norris added.
That includes more time for the Cory Melkert regime to take shape. The former defenseman was elevated to the role of Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations following the departure of Jesse Kallechy.
The 2020-2021 season may be canceled, but as far as the Marksmen are concerned, it is just an extended off-season dedicated to making their eventual return bigger and better than ever.
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