ECHL cancels remainder of season, including playoffs; AHL season reportedly in jeopardy

Sporting News

The ECHL on Saturday canceled the remainder of its 2019-20 regular season and its playoffs because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"The decision by the ECHL to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 season does not come lightly, as this is an emotional time for our players, coaches, member teams, fans and staff," ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin said in a statement. "As each passing day raises additional concerns for the safety of those in the ECHL community and as we take precautionary measures in conjunction with our local authorities across the continent to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has become apparent that this is the prudent decision."

Crelin added that the decision allows the players to return home and remove any uncertainty around the season.

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The news comes after the NHL and AHL announced Thursday that they were suspending their 2019-20 seasons.

MORE: Tracking how the coronavirus has impacted hockey

Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reported Saturday that the AHL season might also be in jeopardy.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported that NHL teams were told Saturday to make sure to pay their AHL players.

The ECHL was nearing the conclusion of its 72-game regular season. The Newfoundland Growlers were the defending Kelly Cup champions.

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