By @MichaelCaples –
The Grand Rapids Griffins’ season has come to an early close.
The American Hockey League, following a vote from its Board of Governors, will be cancelling the remainder of the 2019-2020 regular season and the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
A statement from AHL president and CEO David Andrews:
“After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions.
The league’s operational focus has turned toward actively preparing for the 2020-21 season.
We are very grateful to the National Hockey League and its teams for their support and leadership in navigating through the challenges faced over the past two months.
The AHL continues to place paramount importance on the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and fans and all of their families, and we all look forward to returning to our arenas in 2020-21.”
Grand Rapids season ticket holders and other ticket purchasers will receive an email from the team this week regarding refunds, redemption and credit rollover options for the 2020-21 season.
The Griffins conclude the 2019-2020 season with a 29-27-3-4 record, good for third place in the Central Division. They were in position to extend the franchise’s record with an eighth straight postseason appearance.
“As difficult as this decision was for the AHL and its 31 member teams, the unanimous approval by the league’s Board of Governors underscores that it was absolutely the right decision in light of the pandemic still sweeping the globe,” said Griffins president Tim Gortsema. “While we all miss sports, and hockey in particular, we recognize that the continued health and safety of our players, staff and fans will always take precedence.
“Our front office team is already hard at work contacting impacted ticket buyers and corporate sponsors with solutions and ideas as we eagerly prepare for what we anticipate will be a momentous 25th anniversary season of Griffins hockey.”