The COVID-19 situation had ECHL teams in Canada cancel their season and now at least one of them will shut the doors for good. The Brampton Beast has announced they will cease operations effective today. In the release, the team explains that it wasn’t just a one-season postponement that killed them. Instead, president and GM Cary Kaplan described it as “three seasons of COVID,” noting that the 2019-20 season was shut down early, the 2020-21 season canceled completely and the continued uncertainty preventing them from scheduling a 2021-22 season.
Kaplan released this statement:
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to offer an enormous thank you to the City of Brampton, Mayor Patrick Brown and Brampton City Council for supporting us with open arms, to the hundreds of thousands of Fans and sponsors who we truly worked for and tried our best to exceed your expectations, to all the amazing players, staff and coaches who gave their blood, sweat and tears for the Beast, to our three owners who invested in our Vision, we are very proud of the lasting memories that we provided.
The Beast had been affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, and most recently the Ottawa Senators over the seven-year run of the franchise.
This announcement comes on the heels of two expansion teams in the ECHL set for 2021-22 and another joining in 2022-23. Coralville, Iowa, and Trois-Rivieres, Quebec will be the two teams joining next season, while a team in Savannah, Georgia is scheduled to join the following year.