The Utah Grizzlies have a start date.
The ECHL announced Wednesday that the 2020-21 season is anticipated to begin on Dec. 4 and feature a full 72-game schedule. The Grizzlies, who are affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, play in the third-tier hockey league.
The original start date of the upcoming season was scheduled for Oct. 16. It was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are eager to return to hockey, but at this time we believe this decision is prudent for the safety of our players, employees and fans,” ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin said in a statement. “The ECHL and our Board of Governors are focused on the 2020-21 season and remain optimistic for the safe reopening of our venues across the continent.”
The league did not announced whether spectators would be allowed in home markets when the season resumes.
The 2019-20 ECHL season was canceled with just a few weeks left of play. The Grizzlies were in the midst of a playoff push, and the cancellation not only halted that but also forced some players to reevaluate their future plans.
The 2020-21 season will be Utah’s 25th as a franchise.