The ECHL announced this afternoon that its six team Northern Division has elected to suspend play for the upcoming 2020-21 season. The league expects to begin on December 11th with a truncated schedule, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This means that the Rangers’ ECHL affiliate, the Maine Mariners, will not hit the ice this season leaving the Blueshirts with the Hartford Wolf Pack as their lone affiliate for the upcoming season, should the AHL get underway. Across the ECHL, this means that the players of the six North Division teams are free agents. With the entire North Division suspending play it raises the number of teams not participating in the 2020-21 season to eight as both the Norfolk Admirals and Atlanta Gladiators elected to sit out the upcoming campaign.
This comes on the heels of the American Hockey League pushing back their starting date to February 5th and the NHL hoping to kick off their 2021 season on January 1st. Things are changing as the world adapts to the on-going pandemic so stay tuned for updates.