HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The Huntsville Havoc will be one of five hockey teams to play in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) during the 2020-2021 season.
SPHL said the season will consist of five teams and feature a 42-game regular-season schedule.
Joining the Huntsville Havoc are the Birmingham Bulls, Knoxville Ice Bears, Macon Mayhem and the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The abbreviated season will start on Saturday, December 6.
According to SPHL, the Evansville Thunderbolts, Fayetteville Marksmen, Peoria Rivermen, Quad City Storm and Roanoke Rail Yard Dogs will sit out the upcoming season due to state and local restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These teams that not playing will be able to retain the rights to their protected list players for the 2021-2022 season, SPHL said.
“This is a tough day for the SPHL, particularly because the circumstances that forced these decisions are out of our control,” said SPHL Commissioner Doug Price. “When we were forced to suspend play back in March, we immediately turned our focus to the upcoming 2020-2021 season. We waited as long as possible for things to improve so that all of our teams could play this season, but I don’t think any of us imagined we would still be facing these restrictions seven months later.”
SPHL said additional information regarding the upcoming season will be announced in the near future.