BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Steelheads announced Monday that they are suspending the 2020-2021 ECHL season due to Idaho's coronavirus's impact. The suspension does fall under the league's policy for COVID-19, according to a news release.
"This was a difficult decision to come to as we wanted to be able to play this season but because of the continued increase of Covid-19 in the Treasure Valley and United States, we felt our best option was to start preparing for a season in the Fall of 2021," said Steelheads President Eric Trapp. "The future of the Idaho Steelheads is bright, especially with the new improvements to Idaho Central Arena. We will be back and fighting for another ECHL Kelly Cup very soon!" The Steelheads will prepare to return next October for the 2021-2022 ECHL season.
The release says all Idaho Steelheads players immediately become free agents for the 2020-2021 season under the ECHL/PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"We will be communicating directly with our valued season ticket holders and corporate partners in the coming days, and want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support during what has been a difficult year," said Trapp. "We can't wait to welcome everyone back to Idaho Central Arena when we drop the puck next October."
The Cincinnati Cyclones and the Kalamazoo Wings are also suspending their seasons.
"This decision for our clubs was immensely difficult amidst the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to return to play throughout our various jurisdictions," said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. "We look forward to returning fans and ECHL hockey in these great markets as they shift their focus to the 2021-22 Season."