The Charlotte Checkers today announced that they will not participate in the 2020-21 American Hockey League season that is set to begin on Feb. 5.
The decision, which was made in conjunction with their NHL affiliate, the Florida Panthers, is based on numerous safety and logistical concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will allow the organization to turn its full focus towards the 2021-22 season.
“While we are disappointed that we cannot resume playing at this time, both the Panthers and Checkers feel it is in the best interests of all parties to opt out for this season,” said Checkers Owner and CEO Michael Kahn. “There are several travel, safety and player supply challenges to consider. Those, coupled with the increasing number of new cases in our area, make it very unlikely that we will be able to host fans at our games in the near future. We are appreciative of our partnership with the Florida Panthers regarding the navigation of this very difficult matter and will immediately focus our efforts on beginning the 2021-22 season in the fall.”
“Working closely with the Charlotte Checkers organization, we have come to the decision together to opt out of playing in Charlotte in 2020-21,” said Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito. “Despite the travel and business challenges involved with this year, we feel that this decision will not impact our player development system as we continue to provide necessary environments for growth. We look forward to the continuation of our partnership with the Checkers organization and the puck drop of 2021-22 in Charlotte.”
The Checkers will directly reach out to season ticket holders via phone within the next 48 hours to discuss options moving forward.