K-Wings won’t be back on ice until December at earliest

Sports

A file image of K-Wings mascot Slappy at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The return of hockey in Kalamazoo will be delayed until at least Dec. 4.

The ECHL announced the delay, which affects the Kalamazoo Wings, in a Wednesday morning press release. The league still plans to play a full 72-game schedule should it be able to start games in early December.

“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 the press release. “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. We appreciate our partners and fans continued support and patience, as we work together with our venues, local health officials and the members of the PHPA’s Executive Committee towards the safe return of ECHL hockey.”

The ECHL canceled the 2019-2020 season on March 15 as shutdowns were starting to happen due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Its latest move puts it in line with the American Hockey League (AHL), which also pushed its season back to no sooner than Dec. 4.

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