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Canadian ECHL teams will start after some of American counterparts in next season

PRINCETON, N.J. — The ECHL plans a two-phased start to its 2020-21 season during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirteen of the 25 active teams will begin play Dec. 11 and the other 12 kick off on Jan. 15, 2021.
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PRINCETON, N.J. — The ECHL plans a two-phased start to its 2020-21 season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirteen of the 25 active teams will begin play Dec. 11 and the other 12 kick off on Jan. 15, 2021.

The Brampton Beast and the Newfoundland Growlers — the league's two Canadian teams — will be part of the latter group. Those 12 teams will play a 62-game season.

The 13 teams that start Dec. 11 will play a 72-game season.

The Atlanta Gladiators have elected a voluntary suspension for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 restrictions.

League standings will be based on winning percentage during the regular season. The playoff format will be announced at a later date.

The regular season is slated to conclude on June 6, 2021.

The ECHL, the third tier of pro hockey in North America, had affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2019-20.

The NHL has said it is targeting Jan. 1, 2021 for a start date for its next season. The American Hockey League has not announced a start date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020

The Canadian Press

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