GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins are among 28 American Hockey League teams that will participate in the 2020-21 season when it gets underway on Feb. 5, as announced by the AHL on Monday. Further details, including schedule formats and playoffs, are still to be determined.
“The Griffins organization is thrilled to have our players return to the ice in February, marking nearly 11 months since our team last played at Van Andel Arena on March 11, 2020,” said Griffins president Tim Gortsema. “Throughout this process, our organization has worked closely with our member teams in the AHL as well as with the Detroit Red Wings to determine how we can best return to playing hockey in a safe manner for our players, staff and fans. The Red Wings organization has been terrific in working with us to help absorb some travel and arena expenses, which helps to make this return a reality.” (Click here for Gortsema video interview.)
While the Griffins remain hopeful for the potential to host fans at Van Andel Arena at some point, it is anticipated that the season will begin without fans in attendance. Griffins fans are encouraged to watch the games on AHLTV, tune in on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM, and follow the team’s social media channels. Important information for Griffins season ticket members is available at griffinshockey.com.
The AHL announced that it will operate in five divisions this season.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Hartford Wolf Pack
(all pending provincial government approval)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Grand Rapids Griffins
Henderson Silver Knights
San Diego Gulls
San Jose Barracuda
Four teams have been granted provisional relocations for the 2020-21 season: the Binghamton Devils will play in Newark, N.J.; the Ontario Reign will play in El Segundo, Calif.; the Providence Bruins will play in Marlborough, Mass.; and the San Diego Gulls will play in Irvine, Calif.
The Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds have elected to opt out of play for the 2020-21 season. All three teams will return to play in 2021-22.