On Thursday February 18th, the ECHL announced a pair of updates from the meeting held with their Board of Governors.
To start off, they announced the rules regarding rights to players for the 2021-22 season. Obviously, the 2020-21 season has been a little hectic with 12 teams opting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players who signed with teams that opted out were allowed to sign with other teams who were participating in the shortened season.
The players who did sign elsewhere will have their player rights return back to the original member team’s protected list. Players who were issued a qualifying offer by a team who opted out, but never signed the qualifying offer will become free agents for the upcoming season.
Moving on, the Board of Governors also announced details about the 2021-22 season. The puck will drop on Friday October 22nd and the season will conclude on Sunday April 17th, 2022.
The most shocking news to come from the midseason meeting was in regards the Brampton Beast. The Beast announced on Thursday morning that they have withdrawn their membership from the league and will cease operations at the conclusion of this season. With this season being Brampton’s last, players whose rights are currently owned by the team will become free agents at the end of the season.
Additionally, the Board of Governors released the league’s policies on the Kelly Cup Playoffs for those under NHL/AHL contracts. These changes are only effective for the 2020-2021 season. Players under NHL and AHL contracts must play in at least five regular season games by May 16th in order to be eligible for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Additionally, there is no games played requirements for the AHL in order for veterans to be eligible for the postseason.