For the first time since the AHL was founded, the Calder Cup 2019-20 will not be awarded due to COVID-19.
For the first time since 1936, the Calder Cup has not been awarded – the COVID-19 pandemic is canceling the season. The American Hockey League is the highest foundation of the NHL. The season was interrupted on March 12 and has now been finally canceled.
“After careful consideration, the American Hockey League decided that the resumption and ending of the 2019/20 season could not be achieved under the circumstances. The league is now focusing on preparing for the 2020/21 season, ”said AHL President David Andrews on NHL.com. At the same time, he adds: “We are very grateful to the National Hockey League and its teams for their support in all the challenges we have faced in the past two months. The AHL continues to attach great importance to the health and safety of players, officials, employees and fans. We are all looking forward to returning to the arenas in 2020/21. ”
This cancellation also affects a total of four Latvian and two Belarusian players who are now actually on vacation and can prepare for the new season:
Rudolfs Balcers (Belleville Senators):
The 23-year-old forward was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 5th round on pos. #142 in 2015, but did not play a single NHL game. In 2018-19 Balcers joined the Ottawa Senators and also played in the NHL. For the past two years he has been commuting between the NHL and AHL and has shown his skills.
Nikita Jevpalovs (Laval Rocket):
The 25-year-old forward played his first AHL game in the 2015-16 season for the Barracuda Sharks, where he was active for two years. After a stopover at Dinamo Riga in the KHL, the NHL organization of the Montreal Canadiens brought him in. Jepavlovs has been with Laval Rocket in the AHL since 2018-19.
Rodrigo Abols (Springfield Thunderbirds):
It was the first season in the AHL for the 24-year-old center. In between, he also played in the ECHL at the Greenville Samp Rabbits. The long wait also ends for him and can concentrate on the new season after the cancellation.
Kristians Rubins (Toronto Marlies):
For the 22-year-old Defender, and youngest player in this Latvian quartet, it is the second season for Canadians. At the „Medicine Hat Tigers“ in the WHL, where he played for two years, he got the attention of the Toronto Leafs organization. After the 2018-19 season, in which Rubins commuted between AHL and ECHL (Newfoundland Growlers), he only played for the Marlies in the current season and scored 14 points (2+12) as a defender.
Yegor Sharangovich (Binghamton Devils):
The 22-year-old center made the leap into the AHL in 2018-19 from the KHL from its home club Dinamo Minsk. The NHL organization of the New Jersey Devils drafted the young center 2018 in the 5th round on pos. #141. For the past two seasons, Yegor has only played for the Binghamton Devils.
Maxim Sushko (Lehigh Valley Phantoms):
The 21-year-old forward was in the 4th round by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2017, on pos. #107, drafted. Maxim previously played three seasons in the OHL with the „Owen Sound Attack“. The past season, now broken off, was his first in the AHL and earned 21 points (11 + 10).