By The Canadian Press on November 18, 2020.
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL’s two Canadian teams and their four American counterparts in the league’s North Division will not play during the 2020-21 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The professional hockey league announced Wednesday that the Brampton Beast, Newfoundland Growlers, Adirondack Thunder, Maine Mariners, Reading Royals and Worcester Railers will suspend operations this season.
All teams are slated to return in 2021-22.
Under terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, all players on the six teams become free agents.
The Beast are an affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, while the Growlers are an affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Thirteen teams in the league are scheduled to begin play on Dec. 11.
Another five teams are slated to open play in January.
“As we continue to navigate the continually changing regulations across North America, we recognize the difficult nature of this decision,” ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin said in a statement. “While some of our teams’ host cities have allowed upcoming plans to include fans inside arenas, we unfortunately do not see the same path for these highly-affected areas in the Northeast.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2020.