FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Komets president Michael Franke has confirmed to WANE-TV that the ECHL has approved the Komets to play this upcoming season starting in February of 2021 as opposed to January as previously planned.

The move helps the Komets adhere to local COVID 19 guidelines, as the team had been working with Allen county health officials in regard to area-wide restrictions during the pandemic.

The Komets are one of two teams to see the start to their season pushed back to February, joining the Toledo Walleye.

Additionally, three ECHL teams announced on Monday they would not be participating in the 2020-21 season – the Cincinnati Cyclones, Kalamazoo Wings, and the Idaho Steelheads.

It presents an interesting dynamic for ECHL teams in the midwest, as both the Cyclones and Wings play in the Central Division with both the Komets and Walleye.

Cincinnati, Idaho, and Kalamazoo say they plan to return to play in the ECHL for the 2021-22 season.

Per a statement from the Komets, Franke adds:

“This Pandemic is changing every day, but we are encouraged by the vaccine news, and what the landscape could look like two months from now. We are pleased to be given the opportunity for that chance to play in the ‘20-‘21 season, and we are doing everything in our power to investigate over the next few weeks, if that can happen in a safe way.”

Franke adds there will be no further updates regarding the Komets “path to play” until the first of the year.

The Komets have also signed defenseman Mathieu Brodeur for the upcoming season.