The American Hockey League, the NHL's primary developmental league, has announced a tentative start date for the 2020-21 campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Via an official statement, the league said:
At the recommendation of the AHL’s Return to Play Task Force, the Board of Governors has approved moving the anticipated start of the 2020-21 regular season to December 4, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The AHL will continue to work with its member clubs to monitor developments and local guidelines in all 31 league cities.
Further details regarding the 2020-21 American Hockey League schedule are still to be determined.
While the NHL temporarily suspended play on March 12, the AHL canceled its halted season in May. Per the NHL, it was the first time the Calder Cup, presented to the AHL playoff champion, wasn't awarded since the league was formed for the 1936-37 season.
It's unknown if fans will be allowed to attend AHL games before the year ends.
The NHL relocated 24 clubs to bubble sites in Toronto and Edmonton to crown a 2019-20 Stanley Cup champion. The league's official restart begins Aug. 1.