After comments were made recently by NBC analyst Pierre McGuire that the NHL and AHL might have to settle for a 35-game season for the 2020-21 season with the pandemic running rampant recently in both the United States and Canada, AHL President and CEO Scott Howson stated that he agreed that both leagues should be grateful if they can even get in a 35-game schedule, according to BostonHockeyNow’s Jimmy Murphy.
“Well, I think a 35-game season is better than no season in any league,” Howson said. “So no I don’t think it’s too low. I think we’re in such a different time right now and whatever we do, whatever any league does, is not going to look good or look perfect. I think it’s going to be a challenge and we’re just gathering as much information as we can and we’re gonna make the best decision we can at the time.”
The AHL announced recently that they were shooting for return date of Feb. 5 with the hopes that the NHL might start shortly before that. However, with the increase in COVID-19 cases recently in both countries, there will be challenges for both leagues to put together a significant season.
“I’ve said this all along; we gotta be flexible, we gotta be nimble,” added Howson. “We don’t know what next week is going to look like, let alone February 5, and we’ll just try and plan as best we can and be ready to be flexible to change plans whenever we have to.”
- The Athletic’s Corey Pronman reports that the DEL in Germany, which is one of the few leagues that hasn’t started in Europe, is expected to announce their start date early next week, which should be in early December with no fans. That should benefit teams that sent players to Germany to play.
- The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers writes that the Colorado Avalanche could get a late season addition this upcoming season as top forward prospect Alex Newhook could join the team once his sophomore season at Boston College is completed. Newhook, the team’s first-round pick in 2019, was the NCAA Rookie of the Year after posting 19 goals and 42 points in 32 games. He is expected to leave his BC team shortly to join Team Canada for the World Juniors, a potential two-month experience if he makes the team, before returning to Boston College to finish their season. He is expected to take online classes while he’s in Red Deer, Alberta to remain eligible. However, he adds that he will then have to decide if he wants to join the Avalanche at that point. ” … at the end of the season (I’ll) reassess and see where we’re at in terms of what the NHL is doing, what the Avs think, and where I’m at development-wise as well,” said Newhook.