ECHL pushes back season start to December

Komets

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Welcome to the Jungle? Fort Wayne Komets fans will have to wait until at least December.

The ECHL on Wednesday announced plans to delay the start of its season until at least Dec. 4, back from Oct. 16. A full 72-game season is planned.

The league cited ongoing coronavirus concerns.

“We are eager to return to hockey, but at this time we believe this decision is prudent for the safety of our Players, Employees and Fans,” said ECHL Commissioner, Ryan Crelin. “The ECHL and our Board of Governors are focused on the 2020-21 Season and remain optimistic for the safe reopening of our venues across the continent. We appreciate our partners and fans continued support and patience, as we work together with our venues, local health officials and the members of the PHPA’s Executive Committee towards the safe return of ECHL hockey.”

The Fort Wayne Komets said in a statement on its website that safety was paramount.

“The entire Komet organization is pleased to have more clarity on the start of the season. It is the intent of the ECHL to play an entire 72 game schedule, with the season moving deeper in to the spring than would normally be the case. Getting Komet hockey back in a safe manner is our number one goal,” said Komet President Michael Franke. “More exciting announcements regarding the ‘20-‘21 Komet season will be forthcoming, as we are very excited about our roster makeup and are looking forward to competing for a Kelly Cup Championship.”

The start of training camp and potential exhibition games has yet to be determined. 

The Komets have 17 players under contract for the upcoming season, the team said.

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