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AHL pushes back 2020-21 season start date to December

The American Hockey League has tentatively pushed back the start of the 2020-21 season to December 4 in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The AHL season traditionally begins in October and runs until April.

In a similar move, the National Women’s Hockey League this week postponed the start of its coming season from November until January.

The 31-team AHL initially suspended play on March 12 due to the ongoing health crisis before canceling the remainder of the 2019-20 season in May.

Further details regarding the upcoming schedule are still to be determined.

The move also will bring the AHL into closer alignment with the National Hockey League, which maintains affiliate relationships with the minor league AHL. After the pandemic-imposed pause to the NHL season, league commissioner Gary Bettman said the 2020-21 season will not start until at least December, though he still intends to schedule a full campaign next year.