American Hockey League targets February start date for new season

The Manitoba Moose celebrate Peter Stoykewych's first period goal in their loss to the Iowa Wild on Sunday at Bell MTS Place. True North Sports & Entertainment

The Manitoba Moose will go almost 11 months between games.

When the National Hockey League pushed back their expected start date to January, it was only a matter of time until the American Hockey League also had to delay their season even further.

The AHL’s board of governors has now approved their anticipated start date for next season, with the league planning to drop the puck on Friday, Feb. 5.

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That’s a full two months later than their initial target start date of Dec. 4. But with the majority of AHL players to attend NHL training camps, it certainly wouldn’t be feasible for the AHL to start their season ahead of the NHL.

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The exact details of how the season will play out are still being determined, and right now there are more questions than answers.

With the U.S.-Canada border still closed, it’s uncertain how the Moose and the three other Canadian clubs will be able to compete with the majority of the teams located south of the border.

The idea of an all-Canadian Division has been floated in the NHL, and the AHL might have to follow suit even if it’ll only be a four-team division.

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The Moose played their last game on March 8 before the league was shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Wolves vs Moose – Feb 13, 2016