AHL pushes back anticipated season start to February 5

Ruben Hill
October 29, 2020

The American Hockey League hopes to start its next season in February. Earlier this month, Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said the league would have to remove bodychecking and other physical contact if it was to be permitted to have a 2020-21 season. Almost 90 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. Details regarding how the season's schedule would break down were not given, though it's believed teams would play only against four or five other clubs.

The AHL relies more heavily than the National Hockey League on gate receipts and needs to have fans in the stands before playing. Unlike the NHL, which has a national television package, most AHL teams can not operate without at least a percentage of their normal gate because so much of their operating income is derived from ticket revenue.

Crunch owner Howard Dolgon has said his team could play at about 50 percent capacity, which would allow for crowds of about 3,000 per game.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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