PRINCETON, N.J. –The ECHL, in conjunction with the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, announced today that the 2020-21 Season will commence on December 11, 2020 under a split-season format.
Under the split-season guidelines, the following teams will begin a 72-game season on December 11 – Allen, Florida, Greenville, Indy, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Orlando, Rapid City, South Carolina, Tulsa, Utah, Wheeling and Wichita.
Additionally, remaining ECHL teams will begin their Season on January 15, 2021, competing in a 62-game season upon jurisdictional approval.
The Atlanta Gladiators have elected a Voluntary Suspension for the 2020-21 Season due to COVID-19 restrictions, returning to play in the 2021-22 Season. All Atlanta Gladiators Players are immediately Free Agents for the 2020-21 Season.
“The ECHL is excited to be able to confirm the beginning of the 2020-21 Season by working with our local health officials and the PHPA to develop protocols for the safe return of our Players, fans, and employees,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “The ECHL is getting back to hockey, as we all work together to bring live entertainment back to our communities.”
“Our ECHL Members have been looking forward to getting back on the ice since March 16, and providing the fans with exciting hockey in a safe environment,” said PHPA Executive Director Larry Landon. “I would like to thank Ryan Crelin, the ECHL Board of Governors and the commitment from our Return to Play Committee including Jake Flegel, Josh Holmstrom, Steven Kaunisto, Justin Taylor and Riley Weselowski.”
The ECHL regular season will conclude on June 6, 2021. A schedule for games from December 11, 2020 - January 14, 2021 will be announced in the near future.
Under this split-season scenario, League standings will be based on winning percentage during the regular season. The post-season format will be based on the eligible competing teams in the regular season and will be announced at a later date.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 26 teams in 19 states and two Canadian provinces for its 33rd season in 2020-21. There have been 678 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 16 who made their NHL debuts in the 2019-20 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2019-20, marking the 23rd consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.