HERSHEY, Pa. (WDVM) — The American Hockey League (AHL) announced on Monday that the remainder of the 2019-20 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was almost like I lost my best friend,” said Hershey Vice President of Hockey Operations, Bryan Helmer in a Zoom conference on Tuesday. “The type of team we had was pretty special.”
The Hershey Bears, AHL affiliate to the Washington Capitals, were ranked 2nd in the Atlantic Division and third in league with a a 37-18-3-4 record, putting them in great position to make a run for the Calder Cup.
“Just thinking of our fans, and our community on what we could have did on a long run, and even maybe win a championship,” said Helmer. “It made it that much tougher.”
Helmer knows the chase for the cup well, as he played on the last Bears team to win it back in 2010.
For Spencer Carbery, this would have been his second straight trip to the playoffs in his first two seasons as head coach of the Bears.
“I was actually hit pretty hard by it, to know that that was it,” said Carbery. “It was sad, but I also keep it into perspective that there are some more important things than sports and hockey.”
As far as the 2020-21 season, Helmer said that talks are on-going.
“The virus is going to dictate if we start in October. Do we start without any fans? All of this stuff is being talked about daily,”