On Thursday afternoon, the American Hockey League made it official that the 2021 season would not conclude with a traditional Calder Cup Playoffs format. The league did not have the Calder Cup Playoffs following the 2019-2020 season as well, so the Charlotte Checkers remain the defending Calder Cup champions.
New from the #AHL – due to league COVID-19 protocols, the AHL will not conduct the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2021. The Pacific Division will complete the season with a playoff tournament to determine a division champion; members of the other 4 divisions won’t have postseason play.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) April 29, 2021
The league announced that the Pacific Division, made up of the Henderson Silver Knights, San Diego Gulls, Bakersfield Condors, an Jose Barracuda, Colorado Eagles, Tucson Roadrunners, and Ontario Reign, will hold a divisional playoff tournament to name a Pacific Division champion, but the other four divisions, including the Central Division with the Rockford IceHogs, will not be holding similar postseason play.
From AHL President and CEO Scot Howson:
While we are disappointed that we will not be able to award the Calder Cup this spring, we are grateful to have been able to provide a safe and competitive environment for more than 1,000 players to play AHL hockey and continue their development,” said Howson. “We’re especially thankful for the work done by our athletic trainers, COVID-19 officers and other front-line workers to ensure the health and safety of all of our players and staff throughout the league.
Regular season divisional champions will be decided by points percentage for the 2021 season.
The Rockford IceHogs sit in sixth-place (out of six teams) in the Central Division with 19 points, a .380 points percentage, and a 9-15-1 record this season. The Chicago Wolves lead the Central Division with 35 points and 16-5-1 record, they lead the division with a .729 points percentage.
Along with the official announcement of no Calder Cup Playoffs, the league announced that the 2021-22 season will begin on October 15th and conclude on April 24th, 2022. Divisional realignment and schedules are to be announced at a later date.