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AHL season start target date pushed back to Feb. 5, 2021

Had been aiming for Dec. 4 after remainder of 2019-20, playoffs were canceled

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The American Hockey League, the top development league for the NHL, has targeted Feb. 5, 2021, as its start date for the 2020-21 season. 

The AHL board of governors announced the decision Wednesday, with further details to be determined.

The league had announced July 30 it was targeting Dec. 4, 2020, for a start date.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press he doesn't expect the AHL announcement to affect the NHL's planning. 

The AHL canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the Calder Cup Playoffs on May 11 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. It had suspended its season March 12, the same day the NHL paused its season. There were 209 AHL regular-season games remaining.

It marked the first time since the AHL was formed in 1936-37 that the Calder Cup was not awarded. Charlotte, the top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, won the Calder Cup in 2019, defeating Chicago (Vegas Golden Knights) in five games in the best-of-7 series.

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