May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020 – now an infamous day in American Hockey League history.

At 9 am Eastern today, AHL President and CEO David Andrews officially announced the cancellation of the 2019-2020 AHL season.

It was a moment many of us expected, but that certainly doesn’t make it any easier.  However, the reality of the situation is pretty straightforward:

There’s no way in the “current environment” the AHL could resume play.  That’s not an indictment on the AHL, heck, every other sporting league in the world at least paused their current seasons, or delayed the start of their upcoming campaign. 

As a society, we’re in a very unique situation right now – we’re still searching for clarity and answers on a daily basis, and the health / well-being of one another is paramount right now.  And with that has come a lot of change to our world as we once knew it.

What happens next remains to be seen.  Let’s just hope the 2020-2021 season can be played in its entirety and the Calder Cup can be hoisted once again.


From an Iowa Wild (read: selfish) standpoint, the official end to the season is a tough pill to swallow.  Across the 31 team AHL, only the Milwaukee Admirals, Providence Bruins and Hershey Bears had a higher points percentage than the Iowa Wild (.651).

In the Western Conference, only Milwaukee had more points, leading Iowa 90-82 in that category (each team had played 63 games).

At the time of the shutdown, the Wild boasted the league’s leading scorer, Sam Anas (70 pts.), the leading goal scorer in Gerry Mayhew (39 goals) and the goaltender with the most wins – Kaapo Kahkonen (25).

Throw in the 5th ranked PP (21.9%), 8th ranked PK (84.4%) and a league-best 21 home-ice wins (tied with three other teams) and you can argue the Wild had as good a chance as anyone to win it all.

Furthermore, Iowa’s 37 wins during this shortened season matched last year’s total (in 76 games), tying a franchise record.

It’s a shame the players who were having career years and the team as a whole won’t be able to play this thing out.  Who knows how it would have unfolded….?

So, put an asterisk in the record books.  What was easily the most promising season in franchise history is now over and it’s time to prepare for 2020-21.

By the way, the AHL press release stated that all statistics and standings from this season are now considered “final”, so Anas is the winner of the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the league’s top point getter.  And, Mayhew officially takes home the Willie Marshall Award for leading the AHL with 39 goals, the most in the league since the 2011-12 season when Norfolk’s Cory Conacher potted 39.


From a personal standpoint, I want to thank the players and staff for an unforgettable ride. There was a special feeling around the locker room all year long and it was a pleasure to be around this group. To the fans – thank you!  The energy you guys bring to Wells Fargo Arena is awesome.  I’m disappointed I didn’t get the chance to bring you Calder Cup Playoff action this spring, or have a proper sign-off after the final game.

It’s crazy to think that two months ago (March 11) we were wrapping up that two-week road trip, excited to get home for a bit and eventually wind down the regular season.  As I was wrapping up the broadcast following the loss in Grand Rapids that night, news broke the NBA was suspending its season. That was the proverbial first shoe to drop.  I knew it wouldn’t be long before the NHL and AHL followed suit.

I don’t know that anyone could have predicted what has transpired since.  And I’m not sure any of us can predict what lies ahead.

Over the next few weeks I’ll try to post some blogs, rehashing some of this season’s top performers and moments. In the meantime, stay safe and hang in there!  Hockey and all sporting events will be back in some form, at some point, and I know a lot of you can’t wait for that day… 

- Wild Joe Radio

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