On Saturday, the ECHL Board of Governors approved the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 Season.
A statement from ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin:
"The decision by the ECHL to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 Season does not come lightly, as this is an emotional time for our players, coaches, member teams, fans and staff. At this point in the season, there has been immense dedication and countless hours committed in moving towards what is traditionally the most exciting part of the hockey year.
With that said however, as each passing day raises additional concerns for the safety of those in the ECHL community and as we take precautionary measures in conjunction with our local authorities across the continent to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has become apparent that this is the prudent decision. Our game and our product are based on our fans and their ability to cheer on their favorite ECHL team and players at one of our many facilities around the continent. Without that social environment and game atmosphere, the ECHL simply isn’t the same.
On behalf of the ECHL and our Board of Governors, we appreciate the Professional Hockey Players’ Association for their assistance during this unprecedented time and working as partners in hockey to reach this decision for the best interest of the ECHL and its players. This decision allows our players the opportunity to return to their homes and removes the uncertainty that currently exists.
While we are hopeful that this period ceases and an opportunity to return to normalcy for the hockey calendar presents itself, in the interim, we ask all fans, players, coaches, officials, and staff to continue to abide by the measures put in place by their local authorities and follow precautionary protocols for their safety, as we will begin preparations for the 2020-21 ECHL hockey season."
Stingrays President Rob Concannon had the following to say:
"I’m extremely disappointed that the 2019-20 season has been canceled," said. "We are in uncharted territory with the uncertainty of what the future may hold in regards to COVID-19, but I understand why this decision was made."
With a record of 44-14-3-1, a winning percentage of 0.742 and 92 points, the Stingrays were tied with the Florida Everblades at the top of the ECHL standings before the league announced a suspension of the regular season on Thursday afternoon.
"We were having such a special year on and off the ice," Concannon said. "I’d like to recognize the efforts of our head coach Steve Bergin, assistant coach Ryan Blair, all of our players and hockey staff as well as our hard-working front office."
"I, too, am very disappointed that the Stingrays season has come to a premature end," said Principal Owner Todd Halloran. "I want to commend our players, coaches, staff and front office for a tremendous season. We had great expectations for a successful and exciting playoff run. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus compel us to turn our attention to the safety of our players, fans, Stingray employees, North Charleston Coliseum staff, and other partners. We can’t thank them enough for their contributions to what has been a very successful season. We look forward to a period of safe and healthy normalcy as we prepare for the 2020-21 season.”
More information for season ticket holders, group ticket holders and any other fans who purchased tickets will be available soon.