AHL's Canadian Division won't start 2020-21 season this weekend, awaiting schedule

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The American Hockey League's Canadian Division will have to wait a little bit longer to start their 2020-21 season.

The AHL announced on Monday that the Canadian-based teams will not begin play this weekend, and their schedules will be announced at a later date.

The Belleville Senators (Ottawa), Laval Rocket (Montreal), Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg), Toronto Marlies (Toronto) and Stockton Heat (Calgary) make up the modified Canadian Division for the upcoming campaign.

The Flames announced Thursday that the Heat, based in Stockton, California and a regular member of the Pacific Division, will play this season in Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. That give's the NHL club easier access to their players during the pandemic. The seven Canadian NHL teams are not crossing the border during the regular season this year.

The move leaves the Vancouver Canucks (Utica, New York) and Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield, California) as the lone Canadian teams with American-based AHL affiliates this season.

The AHL season opens Friday with eight games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published February 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press