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AHL pushes start date to Feb. 5

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PHOTO SOURCE: American Hockey League

(WBNG) -- The American Hockey League announced Wednesday the targeted start date for the 2020-21 season is now February 5, 2021.

The start date was originally pushed to December 4, 2020.

Binghamton Devils Vice President of Operations Tom Mitchell said he wasn't surprised when the second postponement was announced.

"Right now we're (Binghamton) in the yellow cluster zone still and I mean, we'd be allowed to have 25 people in the building and that's certainly not going to work," he said.

Mitchell said pushing the start date back allows the league's task force more time to work out schedule scenarios. He said the task force is working on a schedule that would account for the Canadian border remaining closed, and one if the border is open.

With a few teams in the ECHL opting out, Mitchell said he isn't sure if AHL teams would go that route, especially due to the constant movement of players between the NHL and AHL.

"If some teams decided they want to opt out for a season, because it's just not practical for them to operate, I don't know," he said.

When it comes the B-Devils, Mitchell said at this point, opting out isn't an option.

Mitchell said conversations about fans haven't been held yet. If fans are not allowed in, he said the organization would need help from New Jersey and the arena.

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Nicole Menner

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