The ECHL is ready to drop the puck.
13 ECHL clubs will begin a 72-game season on December 11th – Allen, Florida, Greenville, Indy, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Orlando, Rapid City, South Carolina, Tulsa, Utah, Wheeling and Wichita.
Following jurisdiction approval, Adirondack, Brampton, Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Idaho, Kalamazoo, Maine, Newfoundland, Norfolk, Reading, Toledo and Worcester will begin their seasons on January 15th, 2021. They will each play 62 games, giving the 2020-21 campaign a split-season format.
The Atlanta Gladiators have chosen to forfeit operations for this split-season campaign due to COVID-19 restrictions. They will resume play the following year in 2021-22. That said, the players on their current roster will become free agents and can sign with other teams.
Each organization will have different procedures and guidelines in place relating to COVID-19. The league is prioritizing safety for both its players and plans, working with the Professional Hockey Players Association and various health officials to create a clean and functional environment. Teams and the league’s ability to maintain this will be critical for trying to carry out the plans now in place for 2020-21.
The schedule of games between December 11th and January 14th will be announced in the coming days. Because teams will be split between 72 and 62-game schedules, league standings will be determined solely by winning percentage rather than points.
The season will draw to a close for all clubs on June 6th, 2021. This will be the first time the ECHL will end its regular season in June. Despite providing details on Friday, the league has not announced postseason plans at this time.