BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The Binghamton Devils had just arrived in Laval, Canada when they heard the news that the AHL season was being put on pause.
Fresh off a win in Rochester, the team had arrived around 4 a.m. the following morning. In the midst of an afternoon workout later that day, they saw the news that the NHL season had been postponed. As expected, they were told shortly after the AHL would follow suit, and after less than 12 hours in Laval, they began the trip back to Binghamton.
After the Devils organization mandated the players to self-quarantine, after about one week and more clarity on the situation, they decided it was best to send players back to their respective homes.
"In times like these, people want to be around their families. Whether they're in Belarussia, or Ontario. The players have workouts they need to do on an individual basis, at-home, safe. The communication level has been incredible. We talk to the players probably every other week just to reach out to every player and see how they're doing," said B-Devils coach Mark Dennehy.
The B-Devils were riding a seven-game win streak when the season was put on hold, and were sitting in fourth place in the AHL standings. The team had three games up on fifth place Syracause, and were just three points back of the second place slot.
"There's emotion, they're dealing with the abrupt postponement of their season. For some guys, who knows if they'll play again. For other guys, the entire team, we're hunting for playoffs. We really had things cooking. There's a piece there that hurts. And then these guys are athletes, and they're used to playing. I'm sure there's a lot of pent up energy."
Coach Dennehy told us that he expects the AHL to follow the NHL's lead, unlike the ECHL which cancelled its season entirely. Dennehy said there are ongoing meetings, but no decisions have been made at this point.
With the regular season originally scheduled to conclude mid-April, one idea thrown around is that when play resumes, it will begin with playoffs.
"Sure, that means you're in the playoffs right? Whatever the league decides we'll abide by. We were in the fourth slot, three points out of the second slot, we've been playing really well. That's the hard part to it right, you know is you've got this big gap, if and when the season starts again you know it's getting back to that level of play. But listen we'd love the opportunity that's for sure," said coach Dennehy.