Rockford, Illinois News

28 teams ready for 2021 AHL season, 3 opt out

Charlotte, Milwaukee and Springfield will not compete.

ROCKFORD — The American Hockey League will have 28 teams when it gets underway Feb. 5.

The AHL will operate in five divisions. Further details, including schedule formats and playoffs, are still to be determined.

Four teams have been granted provisional relocations for the 2020-21 season: the Binghamton Devils will play in Newark, New Jersey; the Ontario Reign will play in El Segundo, California; the Providence Bruins will play in Marlborough, Massachusetts.; and the San Diego Gulls will play in Irvine, California.

The Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds have elected to opt out of play for the 2020-21 season. All three teams will return to play in 2021-22.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90% of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

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