The American Hockey League, the primary development league for the NHL, officially announced on Monday that it has canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 season and 2020 Calder Cup playoffs. This is response to the current COVID-19 pandemic which initially forced the league to suspend operations back on March 12.
The AHL Board of Governors has voted to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 AHL regular season and the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.
— AHL (@TheAHL) May 11, 2020
The statement also includes a note in which the AHL will consider the current standings – sorted by points percentage – and statistics as of March 12, 2020, to be considered final and official, and will serve as the basis for determining league awards for the 2019-20 season. Due to no playoffs having been played, no league or conference champions will be named. It’s the first time since 1937 that the AHL will have not awarded the Calder Cup to it’s league champion.
Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose issued their official statement shortly after the AHL made their announcement.
ICYMI: @TheAHL announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has voted to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 AHL regular season and the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) May 11, 2020
According to a couple of different sources, the options being offered to Moose fans who have paid for tickets to the remaining games, range from putting the credit towards tickets for next season or towards TNSE’s TrueNorthShop.com, donating the funds to the True North Foundation, or receiving a paid out refund.
The Manitoba Moose finish the season with a record of 27-33-1. They were sitting in 8th place in the AHL Central division and at the time of the shutdown seven points out of a playoff spot. Seth Griffith lead the Moose in points and goals with 41 points and 21 goals. Jansen Harkins led the club in assists with 24 in just 30 games played with the Moose before his call up to the NHL Jets.
Other notable Moose performances for the season included Kristian Vesalainen who started off slow but got better as the season went along and finished with 12 goals and 30 points. Leon Gawanke led all Moose defensemen with 26 points in 48 games.
Mikhail Berdin took over the role as the team’s number one netminder, posting a 20-21-3 record with a .910 save percentage. His teammate Eric Comrie had a much crazier season that saw him bounce around waivers a couple of different times with claims by the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes before hitting waivers again a third time to be picked back up by the Jets and placed back on the Moose.
The cancellation of the AHL season means that the NHL is the only hockey league remaining that has not called the season off due to the pandemic, as the remain hopeful to get the rest of their season in at some point this summer.