ECHL cancels rest of 2019-20 season, playoffs

Thomas Williams
Hockey writer
The ECHL is shutting down operations for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. (Getty Images)

The ECHL has cancelled the rest of its 2019-20 season and the entirety of its postseason due to COVID-19.

Salaries for team staff and players will reportedly be paid through this Monday, while insurance will be kept in place until June 30.

Scheduled to have three more weeks of action before wrapping up the regular season on April 5, the ECHL has foregone the possibility of returning to play.

Following the major sports leagues around the world on Thursday, the minor league announced that they would suspend the season.

The ECHL is the first notable North American professional hockey league to cancel the remainder of its season. One level above, the American Hockey League, is reportedly facing challenges when it comes to seeing a potential return, despite what the NHL might do in the future.

In its official statement, the ECHL said this about the decision.

“Our game and our product are based on our Fans and their ability to cheer on their favorite ECHL team and Players at one of our many facilities around the continent.  Without that social environment and game atmosphere, the ECHL simply isn’t the same.”

The NHL season has been paused since Thursday, but according to commissioner Gary Bettman, the league expects to eventually resume play and award the Stanley Cup this year.

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