Princeton, N.J. • The ECHL and the the Professional Hockey Players' Association, announced Friday that the 2020-21 season will begin on December 11 under a split-season format.

Under the split-season guidelines, 12 teams — including the Utah Grizzlies — will begin the season on Dec. 11. The remaining ECHL teams will start their season on January 15, competing in a 62-game season, pending local governmental approval.

Joining the Grizzlies in the earlier start will be Allen, Florida, Greenville, Indy, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Orlando, Rapid City, South Carolina, Tulsa, Wheeling and Wichita.

The Atlanta Gladiators have elected to voluntarily suspend operations for 2020-21 due to COVID-19 restrictions, returning to play in the 2021-22 Season. All Atlanta players are immediately Free Agents for the 2020-21 Season.

“The ECHL is excited to be able to confirm the beginning of the 2020-21 Season by working with our local health officials and the PHPA to develop protocols for the safe return of our Players, fans, and employees,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin.  “The ECHL is getting back to hockey, as we all work together to bring live entertainment back to our communities.”

The ECHL regular season will conclude on June 6, 2021. A schedule for games from December 11, 2020 - January 14, 2021 will be announced at a later date.

Under this split-season scenario, league standings will be based on winning percentage during the regular season. The post-season format will be based on the eligible competing teams in the regular season and will be announced at a later date.