WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Federal Hockey League season is quickly approaching and teams around the league are beginning to brace for the fact that the season may not start on time due to COVID-19.
Friday, Sportscaster Rob Krone had a chance to speak with Watertown Wolves owner Andreas Johansson and get an update on where the league stands with regards to the 2020-21 season.
In a normal year, the Watertown Wolves would be 2 months away from the start of their 2020-21 Federal Hockey League season, but due to COVID-19, all signs are pointing to the season being pushed back according to Johansson.
”I think an October start it’s probably unrealistic, and I think right now we’re playing with the idea of sort of a maybe late December, early January start and then instead pushing the season a little bit further on the back end,” said Johansson.
Johansson says the goal of the league is to get as close to a full regular season and post season as possible, which would mean teams playing more games during the week.
”The main reason right now we’re looking to wait is simply because of restrictions on having fans in the building. You know, we’re actually in a pretty good spot in New York compared to a lot of the other states that we’re gonna play against,” said Johansson.
While nothing is set in stone, Johansson says the league appears to be leaning toward a schedule that would see the Wolves and other teams play a regional slate of games while cutting back on long distance trips.
”So, I think the way the plan looks kinda right now is we play everybody once. I think we would go to everybody except one team, and I think we would see everybody except for one team come to Watertown and we’d play a little bit more against Elmira, a little bit more against Danbury and Delaware, which it does make sense ‘cause you can do this quick if we’re playing a mid-week game it’s a quick trip,” said Johansson.
With more games played during the week and COVID-19 still a threat, Johansson says he expects the league to expand rosters, adding extra players for injury or as replacements for players that may test positive for COVID during the season.
”Probably gonna put a couple extra guys on the roster and I think it will be at some point a conversation how to manage that salary cap. Like either you get a little bit more money to play with every week or a little bit different system for how to manage the salaries for the players that would be on the injured reserve list,” said Johansson.