UTICA, N.Y. – The Utica Comets will end what’s already been an atypical year without the usual postseason playoffs, after the American Hockey League announced Thursday there’d be no competition for the 2021 Calder Cup.
AHL President and CEO Scott Howson said because of COVID-19 protocols, the league would not be able to conduct traditional playoffs.
“While we are disappointed that we will not be able to award the Calder Cup this spring, we are grateful to have been able to provide a safe and competitive environment for more than 1,000 players to play AHL hockey and continue their development,” said Howson. “We’re especially thankful for the work done by our athletic trainers, COVID-19 officers and other front-line workers to ensure the health and safety of all of our players and staff throughout the league.”
Each of the five AHL divisions had the opportunity to determine if they would hold postseason tournaments. The Pacific Division will hold a tournament to crown a division champ, but all other divisions decided to award top honors to the team that finishes in first place, ranked by points percentage.
The regular season will end for most teams in mid-May. The Comets last game is scheduled for May 16 against the Rochester Americans.
The AHL also announced that next season is expected to begin Oct. 15 and run through April 24, 2022.
As has been expected, @TheAHL announces it will not hold Calder Cup Playoffs this year. Left individual divisions choice to conduct some sort of postseason play. Pacific Division will host divisional tournament, other four divisions will not. Means no playoffs for @UticaComets.
— Spencer Davidson (@SDavidsonWKTV) April 29, 2021