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Wolves, AHL reveal playoff plans

American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson announced today that due to league COVID-19 protocols, the AHL will not be able to conduct traditional Calder Cup Playoffs in 2021.

“While we are disappointed that we will not be able to award the Calder Cup this spring, we are grateful to have been able to provide a safe and competitive environment for more than 1,000 players to play AHL hockey and continue their development,” Howson said. “We’re especially thankful for the work done by our athletic trainers, COVID-19 officers and other front-line workers to ensure the health and safety of all of our players and staff throughout the league.”

With the Calder Cup no longer a consideration for this shortened season, the Wolves and the other Central Division teams are focused on capturing the Sam Pollock Trophy that goes to the squad with the best regular-season points percentage.

The Wolves have paced the division in this regard since Day 1 and carry a .729 points percentage (16-5-1-2) into tonight’s game at third-place Grand Rapids (.614). The Cleveland Monsters rank second in the division with a .643 mark. If head coach Ryan Warsofsky’s Wolves stay on top through the final game on May 15, then the organization will earn its fourth Central Division crown in the last five years.

The AHL also announced the start and end dates for the 2021-22 regular season. Teams will play their openers as soon as Friday, Oct. 15, with the season’s final day slated for Sunday, April 24.

The Wolves have nine regular-season games remaining and all can be found on AHLTV.com. The league recently offered fans a midseason price drop on subscription packages. Chicago hosts the Iowa Wild at 7 p.m. Friday in the team’s first home game since April 3 at the Wolves Training Facility in Hoffman Estates.