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AHL looking at a February 5 start for next season

It’s a date, but it’s certainly not set in stone.

Providence Bruins v Laval Rocket Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

You know what word feels redundant at this point? “Tentative.”

It goes without saying at this point, right? Everything is tentative. We’re all tentative.

Anyways, the American Hockey League announced a tentative start date for the 2020-2021 season, with the league aiming to kick things off on February 5 of next year.

The AHL is going to face the same challenges as the NHL, just worse: the teams have smaller budgets, less revenue, and less money on hand to weather financial storms.

A bubble set up like the NHL playoffs likely isn’t viable for the AHL, and a regular season with travel seems like a horrible idea at this point.

The league, for its part, is open to just about anything, including creating a Canadian and American split that would involve temporarily moving some American teams north of the border to be with their NHL affiliates.

Wild times. As you may remember, the East Coast Hockey League has announced that it plans to start in some fashion in a little over a month, December 11.

With the Bruins having plenty of “tweener” prospects who aren’t quite good enough for the NHL but are doing well in the AHL, a year of missed development could be pretty damaging for those NHL aspirations.

Still, better safe than sorry.