The American Hockey League was disappointed to announce that their 2020 Regular Season has been cancelled. This followed when organizers initially had planned a postponement period, which would be reviewed every thirty days. The final review period came on May 1st, where it’d ultimately be decided to cancel the entire decision. Organizers were forced into this decision after the novel coronavirus has infected the safety of American civilians. The AHL cannot risk the virus being contracted to players, team personnel, coach staff, or attendees. AHL Representatives also clarified that the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs are cancelled.

March 12th marked the original date that the American Hockey League was suspended. The National Hockey League followed suit & postponed their 2020 season on the same date. It’s prompted analysts to question if NHL Organizers will cancel the full season for this year, which would save the lives of thousands but risk hundreds of millions in lost finances. It should be mentioned that the National Hockey League has experienced multiple outbreaks of the coronavirus, with the most notable being on the Chicago Blackhawks. It’d be in the corporation’s best interest to terminate the 2020 season. Significant lawsuits would subsequently be avoided.

The President Talks

The official notice of cancellation came from David Andrews, the American Hockey League President. He noted that this decision didn’t come lightly and required considerable insight from medical experts. After David obtained the necessary data, it was agreed that maintaining the 2020 season isn’t feasible. The American Hockey League will now work towards organizing the 2020-21 Season, which has been supported by the NHL. David Andrews also thanked the National Hockey League for their leadership through this unexpected period.

David Andrews finished his remarks by expressing the American Hockey League will continue to work towards the Health & Safety of Players, Stadium Workforces, Team Personnel, and Coaching Staff. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this is the 1st time since the AHL was created in 1936 that a season was cancelled, even the Great War couldn’t stop the American Hockey League. David Andrews clarified that those who purchased tickets for 2020 games could receive immediate refunds online.

The British Columbia Hockey League has requested financial aid from province politicians, hoping to offset the substantial losses that’ve followed with the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCHL hasn’t been operational since March 13th, which is when officials were forced into the closure with social distancing measures being implemented across Canada. The unexpected termination of seasonal events came after the BCHL Championship completed its first round. The Hockey Canada Association demanded closures onto all provincial leagues, including the Ontario Hockey League. Shuts downs extend towards Spring & Winter Camps being terminated for 2020. This’ll prompt limited profits for the BCHL, which has already lost funds amidst minimal merchandise sales.

Chris Hebb, the British Columbia Hockey Leagues Commissioner, provided insight into their decision through formal statements with CTV News – Vancouver Edition. He mentioned that the 2021 BCHL Season is playable upon the approval of the Hockey Canada Association. Additional consent is also required from the BC Government. Chris Hebb noted that financial issues for these eighteen units are anticipated, with the possibility of another cancelled season possibly forcing these hockey teams to go bankrupt.

The Meeting & Possible Results

The Commissioner determined early on into the pandemic that a contingency fund was required to protect local teams. Hundreds of thousands are spent monthly to ensure that athletes have survival funds for necessities. Those finances will inevitably deplete, prompting Chris Hebb to seek support from British Columbia politicians. The Commissioner has requested a meeting, upon which he’ll inform these individuals of the social and cultural impact that closures have onto BC Communities. Chris Hebb will also tell them of the financial challenges this’ll bring to local hockey teams.

When speaking with CTV News – Vancouver Edition, the Commission mentioned that the fallout of this closure period would be more extensive than the shutdown itself. Getting civilians to return to local stadiums will be challenging, with Canadians concerned for their medical safety. Chris Hebb also noted that corporate sponsorships would be challenging to locate, with all industries trying to improve their conditions after the novel coronavirus. It should be mentioned that financial aid is almost guaranteed for the BCHL, with hockey being Canada’s national sport.

Joel Quenneville was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks on November 2018 and have managed to go 3-11-2 once Jeremy Colliton took over. While the blistering cold of the winter starts setting in, let’s take a look at a few reasons to stay positive going forward if you consider yourself a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

Reasons To Stay Positive

The best hope that Blackhawk fans can look forward to is in the coaches, both past and present. Jeremy Colliton, the current bench boss, is considered a thankless situation. The team is currently getting roasted when it comes to 5-on-5, with a percentage for goals at 43.85, while suffering with the worst power play of 11.6% along with a 74.4% penalty kill which is the fourth-worst in the league. This is essentially a problem with construction as oppose to coaching and one can only hope that Stan Bowman, the general manager of the team, gives Colliton a greater tool chest to reconstruct the squad.

As for the past coach, the hope is that Joel Quenneville is hired sooner rather than later. Once that occurs, it should assist the true problem that is plaguing the franchise at the moment, the no-movement clauses. What they actually need is the exact same thing Dale Tallon provided when Brian Campbell settled to waive the no-trade clause.

It already seems like a lost season for Chicago. Blackhawks fans should consider this feasible plan: a playoff run against the Bears as a winter distraction, then a rival for Chicago next October. Chicago is currently stuck in neutral as they are currently constructed. Stan Bowman can make a few immediate changes, such as the Dylan Strome and Brandan Perlini swap over Nick Schmaltz. However, a complete overhaul is quite impossible when you consider 6 out of the 7 players that have the highest annual salaries have a no-trade clause. Therefore, the current season will only have a few small tweaks which means the changes that take place next year will be far more significant.

With the projected cap to be around $83 million during the 2019/20 season, it leaves the Blackhawks with around $20 million which they can spend. The Blackhawks had money to spend during the summer last time, but unfortunately, the market was quite limited. This time, there’s a possibility that Jacob Trouba, Mark Stone, Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Wayne Simmonds, Joe Pavelski, Artemi Panarin, Anders Lee, Erik Karlsson, Kevin Hayes, Jake Gardiner, Jordan Eberle, and Matt Duchene will be available this time around. The best way forward is to utilize one of these players and complement the blue line with an immediate flush prospect tool.

There are still several signs of development when it comes to the Blackhawks. Chicago gave 1,395 minutes to its rookies which is the fourth highest in the league and it seems like each of the rookies that have been given a chance is providing the goods. Perhaps this is something they will need to continue going forward?