Walleye opt out of 2020-2021 season

Walleye players were reportedly informed of the decision Tuesday morning.
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 12:10 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Walleye will not be taking the ice for the 2020-2021 season, despite being approved to begin play in February. Walleye players were reportedly informed of the decision to opt-out of play on Tuesday morning.

The news comes just weeks before the Walleye were set to begin a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also benched the Toledo Mud Hens. The Walleye are one of 11 ECHL teams to opt-out of the season under the league’s voluntary suspension program.

“It’s hard to put into words the disappointment we are feeling today,” said Neil Neukam, Walleye Executive Vice President and General Manager in a statement. “COVID-19 has impacted all of us in so many ways. We had anticipated another exciting season for our fans, in spite of the challenges. Coach Watson had assembled a roster that held the promise of winning a championship and bringing the Kelly Cup home to Toledo. We remain committed to our fans, community and corporate partners, and the entire Toledo region and we look forward to celebrating T-Town Hockey in October.”

According to the team’s website, FINatics will receive communication from a Ticket Consultant on their individual plans.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz also gave a statement on the loss of the season.

“This is obviously disappointing news for Toledo, hockey fans, and for local businesses that rely on the foot traffic Walleye games provide to attract customers,” the Mayor said. “It underscores the importance of getting our community vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible, so we can all get back to enjoying the things about Toledo, like Walleye games, we love and miss so much.”

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