Three More ECHL Teams Drop Out of the Upcoming Season

The ECHL announced on Monday that three more teams would not be taking part in the upcoming 2021 season. The teams include the Cincinnati Cyclones, Idaho Steelheads, and Kalamazoo Wings, who will all 'suspend' play for now.

This news is a snowball effect from last week when it was announced an entire division would not be taking part. The likes of the Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Maine Mariners, Newfoundland Growlers, Reading Royals, and Worcester Railers have all suspended play.

To note, all the players from suspended teams are free agents and able to sign anywhere they choose. The season is slated to start later this week, and looks like will be no more than 15 clubs.

The commissioner, Ryan Crelin had this to say on the matter: 
This decision for our clubs was immensely difficult amidst the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to return to play throughout our various jurisdictions. We look forward to returning fans and ECHL hockey in these great markets as they shift their focus to the 2021-22 season.

The pandemic has taken a toll on major sports, and even more of a toll on the minor leagues. Let's hope the ECHL can get back to being financially stable and a great pipeline of talent for the NHL.

Photo credit: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire