AHL’s Belleville Senators making Ottawa home during 2021 season

Home rink of the Ottawa Senators the "Canadian Tire Centre" is pictured in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2020. The Belleville Senators will make the arena home ice for the remainder of the 2021 season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Belleville Senators will play their home games at their NHL affiliate’s home in Ottawa this year.

The American Hockey League unveiled the entire schedule for the Canadian Division on Tuesday, which included the announcement of Belleville shifting operations to Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belleville is about 270 kilometres southwest of Ottawa.

The Senators are the second of two teams in Canada to move their AHL affiliate to their NHL rink. The Stockton Heat are playing in Calgary this season.

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The five teams in the Canadian Division this season will not play American teams because of border restrictions.

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The Senators said in a statement the move to Ottawa was made with the health and safety of players, staff and community in mind. They said they look forward to returning to Belleville when it is safe.

Ontario was the final jurisdiction to give approval for AHL teams to play home games. Because of that, the Senators and Toronto Marlies have both been playing on the road to open the season.

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