AHL Teams Opt-Out of 2021 Season
Citing lack of revenue sources and the prospect of playing the entire season without fans, three American Hockey League teams have suspended operations for the 2021 season. Those opting out include the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators), Charlotte Checkers (Florida Panthers) and Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues). It is believed the Blues prospects will join the Vancouver Canucks affiliate in Utica, N.Y. Several other teams have opted to play at parent NHL training facilities instead of their usual venues. That list includes the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks), Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings), Binghamton Devils and Providence Bruins. The New York Rangers affiliate in Hartford is also in flux due to lack of arena availability. The 2019-20 AHL season was suspended and the Calder Cup Playoffs cancelled due to the pandemic. The Milwaukee Admirals were crowned regular season champions via having the best points percentage.
The AHL has targeted a February start date for its upcoming campaign.