Toledo Walleye look to begin 2020–21 season in February
Despite the news of the Walleye returning, there are still teams that won’t be playing due to previously-established COVID-19 protocol.
TOLEDO, Ohio — The ECHL Board of Governors, in conjunction with the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, have approved plans for the Toledo Walleye and Fort Wayne Komets to participate in the 2020–21 ECHL season beginning in February 2021.
Since March, the Walleye have worked tirelessly with the Lucas County Health Department and the State of Ohio to get hockey back to the Huntington Center. As we continue to do so, we’re appreciative of the ECHL Board of Governors and the PHPA to allow for additional time to plan and execute a 2020–21 season for the Walleye and our fans in a safe and responsible manner.
— Neil Neukam, Walleye Executive Vice President & General Manager
We are grateful to be given the opportunity to play and understand this season will be like no other. During this time I will continue to work with the ECHL to ensure our return to the Huntington Center is done with the utmost adherence to the heath and safety protocols necessary for our team’s well-being.
— Dan Watson, Walleye Head Coach
Additionally, the ECHL announced on Monday that the Cincinnati Cyclones, Idaho Steelheads and Kalamazoo Wings will be suspending play for the 2020–21 ECHL season under the league’s policy for COVID-19. All teams are set to return in the 2021–22 ECHL season.
This decision for our clubs was immensely difficult amidst the everchanging landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to return to play throughout our various jurisdictions. We look forward to returning fans and ECHL hockey in these great markets as they shift their focus to the 2021–22 season.
— Ryan Crelin, ECHL Commissioner
Under the terms of the ECHL/PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, all players who have signed ECHL contracts with Cincinnati, Idaho and Kalamazoo are free agents for the 2020–21 season immediately.