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AHL cancels remainder of their 2019-’20 season

The American Hockey League canceled the remainder of their season in an announcement made on Monday afternoon. The league had been shut down since March 12 following the same decision made by the National Hockey League.

The 84th season of the NHL’s top minor league had 209 regular-season games remaining on their schedule. Their team’s players have been quarantining, like all professional sports stars, since the shutdown was announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AHL Board of Governors held a meeting on Friday to discuss the situation and determine if it was feasible to attempt to restart the season.

”It’s something that was essentially inevitable,” said Syracuse defenseman Cameron Gaunce, who is an AHL executive committee member for the Professional Hockey Players Association. ”I think they had been waiting for this point because they wanted to see if there had been any changes, and I think that was the responsible way to go about it. They didn’t want to make any knee-jerking reactions either way,” he told Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

The AHL recognized that without fans in the stands, the lost attendance would affect plenty of teams financial structure.

The future of the 31 team league remains a question. The AHL will now begin the process if they can play a season that would most likely begin with no fans in the stands whenever the medical industry determines it is safe to start back up again.

The Calder Cup will not be handed out for the first time since 1936.

AHL president and CEO of the AHL Dave Andrews released a statement following the cancellation which included their league hopes to come together as soon as the time is right.

Included in the AHL are the teams from the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals affiliate) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (the New York Rangers affiliate).

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