ECHL North Division Elects Suspension of Play, Mariners Issue Statement
PORTLAND, ME - In light of COVID-19's continued impact across the North East region, the ECHL announced Wednesday that each of the six teams in the North Division - Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Maine Mariners, Newfoundland Growlers, Reading Royals and Worcester Railers - will be suspending the 2020-2021 ECHL season under the league's policy for COVID-19. All teams are set to return in the 2021-2022 ECHL season.
"As we continue to navigate the continually changing regulations across North America, we recognize the difficult nature of this decision," said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. "While some of our teams' host cities have allowed upcoming plans to include fans inside arenas, we unfortunately do not see the same path for these highly-affected areas in the North East."
As announced today, the six ECHL teams in the North Division, including the Maine Mariners, have elected a suspension of play for the 2020-2021 ECHL Season under the League's policy for COVID-19. The Mariners will return to play in the 2021-2022 ECHL Season.
"We are saddened to have had to make this decision with our fellow division teams," said VP of Hockey Operations for the Maine Mariners, Danny Briere.
"With the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, the increasing rates in our region, and after consulting with local officials, we did not see a clear path toward hosting fans at Mariners games. We want to thank our fans for their passion and loyalty as we continue to navigate returning to the ice. The future for this franchise is bright, and we are already making exciting plans for the 2021-22 season."
Under the terms of the ECHL/PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, all players from the Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Maine Mariners, Newfoundland Growlers, Reading Royals and Worcester Railers are free agents for the 2020-21 season immediately.
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