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Lightning Round: AHL season can’t wait for Canada

The Canadian Division might start next weekend instead.

AHL: JAN 22 Syracuse Crunch at Laval Rocket
LAVAL, QC - JANUARY 22: Syracuse Crunch right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) skates around Laval Rocket center Kevin Lynch (39) with the puck during the Syracuse Crunch versus the Laval Rocket game on January 22, 2020, at Place Bell in Laval, QC
Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The AHL season in America is set to begin this weekend (Feb. 5th) with the Syracuse Crunch having their first game of the season on Saturday against the Utica Comets at 7:00 pm. You can watch the game streaming for free along with all 19 games during the opening weekend on

You, however, will not be able to watch any of the Canadian teams playing games since their schedule and regular season format have yet to be announced. The Laval Rocket, Belleville Senators, Toronto Marlies, Manitoba Moose, and Stockton Heat (who will play in Calgary this season) are all waiting in limbo as the Ontario Government (covering Belleville and Toronto) has yet to allow teams to travel to and play within its province (a Province is like a State in Canada).

Ontario is currently in a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic provisionally until at least Feb 9th where they might allow certain activities on Feb 10th if hospital capacity is lowered to a certain degree. While it might be easy to let two teams play on the surface (their NHL affiliates in Ottawa and Toronto haven’t been told to stop), the elephant in the room is the OHL. The junior league is requesting access to begin their season and allowing the AHL to play and not the OHL would seem hypocritical.

If Belleville and Toronto are not allowed to play, Belleville intends to forfeit the season and send their prospects elsewhere (likely Laval). It was proposed that the Marlies would be seen playing in the US in the North Division at a temporary home base somewhere in New York or a nearby State. I personally think that plan is a little dubious but I honestly don’t know what other option they have.

Everything in Canada has been kept quite tight lipped. No one really knows what’s going to happen until we hear the decision by the government in a week’s time.


Do the Ontario, Canada teams play this season?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Both will play
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    Only one of them
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    (1 vote)
  • 66%
    Heck if I know!
    (8 votes)
12 votes total Vote Now

Lightning Links

Cal Foote was named Lightning Player of the Week after scoring his first career NHL goal! I gotta hand it to him, he got it pretty quickly for a defenseman.

From Bryan Burns, Steven Stamkos has hit another franchise record, this one for career power play goals as the Lightning sweep the mini series with the Nashville Predators. The last couple games really felt like the team had its mojo back. They’re scoring goals and not letting them in, as you can imagine hockey is quite fun when that happens! [NHL dot com]

“Look up toward the ceiling at AMALIE Arena, and two numbers hang from the rafters: the No. 4 of Vinny Lecavalier and the No. 26 of Martin St. Louis.

One day, Steven Stamkos and his No. 91 will join those two.”

The Orlando Solar Bears were back in business after a week off from play, taking four points out of their last three games in the ECHL. [Raw Charge]

“Prior to getting back on ice, the Solar Bears signed defenseman Michael Prapavessis to a standard contract. He will be starting his third pro season, after splitting 2019-20 between Cleveland and Jacksonville, with a goal and an assist in 26 games for the Monsters, and two assists in six games for the Icemen. Prior to turning pro, the former Stars fourth round draft pick played four years with RPI, serving as a captain for the Engineers in 2017-18.”

Around the NHL, this will be at the top of your highlight reels this morning. Cale Makar, woof. Ryan Hartman had nothing for him.

FedEx apparently sent a mini forest worth of trees to this random New Jersey household! The stick-shaped tree trunks were supposed to go to new Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara.

The New Jersey Devils have 14 players on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. The Buffalo Sabres, who had just recently played the Devils now have a breakout of COVID-19 of their own because of those cases. Who could’ve seen this coming...

The NHL has postponed several of Buffalo’s games as the team tries to deal with the outbreak. The running total of postponed games in the league is now at 18 as we reach Day 22 of the NHL regular season.