The AHL announced their 2020-21 schedule today, marking the last crucial piece of information fans were waiting for regarding the season. Teams play anywhere from 24 to 44 games, with numbers of games differing even among teams in a given division.
This season, teams are attempting to stay off the road as much as possible. The league also had to consider local travel restrictions to consider when devising the schedules. Some teams will see only two other opponents across the season due to various restrictions.
The Chicago Wolves, new AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, will play 30 games this year, with 15 on the road and 15 being played at the Triphahn Ice Arena, their practice facility and temporary home for this season. While fans will not be permitted in the arena, all games will be streamed on AHLTV.
Play for the Wolves kicks off on Friday, Feb. 5 against the Grand Rapids Griffins, the affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. The Wolves will play 10 total games against Grand Rapids, the most out of all of their opponents.
Their schedule also includes eight games against both the Iowa Wild (Minnesota Wild) and the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks) and four against the Cleveland Monsters (Columbus Blue Jackets).
In line with the league’s desire to stay off the road, the Wolves play only four of their five possible divisional opponents, all of which are within driving distance for the team. They will not face the Texas Stars this season. Cleveland, approximately a six hour drive from the Wolves’ temporary home of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is the furthest the team will travel this year.
The Wolves end the regular season on May 15 with a home game against Rockford. No information has been released yet about a potential post-season plan for the AHL.
Among players to watch for, Hurricanes fans will get their first look at Dominik Bokk this season, as he has been recalled from his loan to Djurgårdens in the SHL in order to play in North America. Other players expected to play for the Wolves this season include the long-awaited professional debut of David Cotton, defenseman Joey Keane, and the return of Stelio Mattheos after missing nearly all of last season due to health issues. If the WHL and OHL do not begin their seasons before AHL games start, you may get to see Seth Jarvis, Jamieson Rees and Ryan Suzuki make their professional debuts, as well.