AHL Cancels Remainder of Season and Playoffs

This morning the Binghamton Devils announced via their website that the American Hockey League Board of Governors have voted to cancel the rest of the 2019-20 regular season as well as the 2020 Calder Cup playoffs.

The article on the B-Devils’ official site had an official statement from the league. “After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions. The League’s operational focus has turned toward actively preparing for the 2020-21 season. We are very grateful to the National Hockey League and its teams for their support and leadership in navigating through the challenges faced over the past two months. The AHL continues to place paramount importance on the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and fans and all of their families, and we all look forward to returning to our arenas in 2020-21.”

The Binghamton Devils, who were one of the hottest teams in all of hockey (they had not seemingly lost since Christmas) in their push to make the Calder Cup playoffs, will be one team that will be extremely adversely impacted by this decision. Could they have carried over their momentum into the playoffs? That will remain an unknown.

However, Binghamton did release a statement saying “the Binghamton Devils fully support the decision made by the American Hockey League to cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season. The health and safety of our fans, players, partners, and staff are the top priority.” They also thanked the fans for supporting the team through their “historic run towards the playoffs.”

According to the article, the “AHL’s standings – sorted by points percentage – and statistics as of March 12, 2020, are considered final and official, and will serve as the basis for determining league awards for the 2019-20 season.” The B-Devils had moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference’s North Division with 72 points over 62 games played. They finished with a record of 34-24-4-0.

As for Binghamton Devils fans with tickets to canceled games, the team has a FAQ on their website (binghamtondevils.com) to help sort that out.

Devils to Donate Tickets to Frontline Healthcare Workers

This morning on the Devils’ official website and social media platforms, a feature article was posted by Chris Wescott stating that the Devils would be donating 10,000 tickets to healthcare workers on the frontlines. The tickets will be for games during the 2020-21 NHL season and will be available to RWJBarnabas Health frontline workers.

Wescott quoted Devils President Jake Reynolds as saying: “Each passing day we are filled with more gratitude for frontline healthcare workers who continue to dedicate themselves to help the residents of New Jersey.”

The ticket donation is in appreciation for all that these workers do in putting themselves in harm’s way while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the tickets already pledged, the Devils will also “donate an additional pair in conjunction with Season Ticket Members and Plan Members who push their credits forward to the 2020-21 season.” This is a part of the team’s “Pay It Forward” campaign, according to Wescott.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the Devils commitment to donate tickets to RWJBarnabas Health front-line workers and their families, as they are the selfless, dedicated heroes during this critical time. Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and the entire Devils organization have offered tremendous support to our entire system and I am sure our frontline staff can’t wait to cheer on the Devils when they are back on the ice” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health to Wescott.

Westcott mentioned that the Devils and Prudential Center also donated “nearly 7,000 pairs of gloves, 10,000 hand sanitizer units and soap, sprays, wipes, and other cleaning supplies … to RWJBarnabas Health’s network of 13 hospitals and 35,000 system employees across New Jersey.”

In addition to all of the donations, Wescott mentioned that the Devils will also be creating a social media campaign called #StickTapsat7. The campaign starts this evening and, each night, Devils players, alumni, coaches, management, front office staff, season ticket holders and corporate partners will post videos saluting staff such as doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with hockey stick taps.

On a personal note, my sister works as a respiratory therapist in the RWJBaranbas system and she is right in the thick of the COVID-19 battle. It is great to see the Devils saluting the frontline workers not only through donations, but also by taking a little bit of time to acknowledge them on social media.

The Devils have always been great to the community, especially when it comes to the hospitals, but this is really good to see at a time when people working in the medical field and their families can really use some help and hope.