AN ASTERISK IN THE RECORD BOOKSMay 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.
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.