American Hockey League targeting Feb. 5 start date for 2020-21 season

The league pushes back its original target date due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The American Hockey League announced on Wednesday that it has pushed back its target start time for the upcoming 2020-21 season from Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 to Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a brief statement made by the AHL, the league said, "The AHL continues to work with its member clubs to monitor developments and local guidelines in all 31 league cities. Further details regarding the 2020-21 American Hockey League season are still to be determined."

The league originally set its target start date as Dec. 4 back on July 30 after the league officially canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 season on May 11.

The National Hockey League is still continuing to target its start date for the upcoming 2020-21 season for Friday, Jan. 1.

The Rochester Americans officially finished the 2019-20 season with a 33-20-4-5 record (.605 win percentage) in 62 games, which was good for second in the North Division behind the Belleville Senators.

Leading the Amerks is scoring last season was forward Jean-Sebastien Dea with 39 points (15+24) in 57 games played. His 15 goals ended up tied for the team lead with forward Andrew Oglevie. Defenseman Zach Redmond led the Amerks with 25 assists, but he has since signed a contract to play the 2020-21 season in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany.

In goal, Jonas Johansson finished the 2019-20 season as one of the best goalies in the AHL with a 14-4-3 record, a 2.28 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and two shutouts. Johansson was also named to his first AHL All-Star Game this season to represent the North Division.

The Amerks will begin the 2020-21 season led by new head coach Seth Appert after Chris Taylor and his coaching staff were relieved of their duties back in June.