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AHL approves structural framework for Feb. 5 start date

The American Hockey League Board of Governors has approved the structural framework for the 2020-21 season to start Feb. 5, league president and chief executive officer Scott Howson announced Wednesday.

“Details are still being worked out, but this step allows our teams and their National Hockey League partners to better determine their plans for the coming season,” Howson said in a statement. “We look forward to dropping the puck on Feb. 5.”

There has been a lot of uncertainty around the upcoming AHL season. In October, the AHL announced the league had moved the start date of the 2020-21 season back to Feb. 5, 2021. Howson had previously said that he wanted to know what the NHL was going to do before they finalized their plan.

“If we’re able to play it’s going to be more about player supply and player development this year than anything else,” Howson told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector in November. “Without fans in the buildings, it’s certainly not going to be about any meaningful revenue.”

In May, the AHL was forced to cancel the remainder 2019-20 regular season – which was suspended on March 12 – as well as the Calder Cup playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.