While there is now a concrete plan in place for the start of the upcoming NHL season, there is still some uncertainty regarding the fate of the AHL. As things stand, the plan is to start on or around February 5th but without fans being able to attend and varying health and safety regulations throughout the cities where they play, it’s safe to say that there are questions abound.
With that in mind, EP Rinkside’s Patrick Williams notes that the Return to Play committee is set to meet tomorrow with a Board of Governors meeting set for next week so we should have a better idea of what the AHL schedule will look like shortly. As was the case in the ECHL, there may be some teams that don’t want to operate this season due to an inability to have fans or a desire to shrink the schedule even further from the roughly 40 games that could be played by starting in early February. Not every question will likely be able to be answered over this next week but there should be a clearer picture soon on what the AHL campaign may wind up looking like.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Back in October, the Golden Knights indicated that goaltender Robin Lehner would be undergoing shoulder surgery but that procedure won’t stop him from being ready for training camp as GM Kelly McCrimmon told reporters, including Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that the team is fully healthy heading into camp. That news is also notable for sophomore center Cody Glass who has clearly fully recovered from his knee surgery back in March. McCrimmon also indicated that prospect Peyton Krebs, who is currently with Canada at the World Juniors, will get an opportunity to be evaluated at camp. The 19-year-old isn’t AHL-eligible as things stand but he could be a taxi squad option while waiting for the WHL to start their season.
- While many prospects will be returning to North America from their international loans if they haven’t already, that won’t be the case for Blues prospect Alexei Toropchenko. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the forward will remain on loan to Kunlun of the KHL instead of participating in training camp with St. Louis. The 21-year-old spent all of last season in the minors and has six goals and two assists in 24 games so far this season. Thomas adds that the team is still deciding on whether or not to bring in Nikita Alexandrov for camp or allow him to stay back home in Germany to keep training.