Ontario has given its two American Hockey League teams the green light to play home games in the province, clearing the way for the Belleville Senators and Toronto Marlies.
Play in the five-team Canadian Division was set to begin Friday, but the league put the Senators and the Marlies on the road for all of February as it waited word from Ontario authorities.
Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s sport minister, says the two AHL teams in Ontario have proposed comparable safety measures to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators during the pandemic.
The AHL’s Canadian Division was created for this season to avoid border restrictions. The other teams are the Laval Rocket, Manitoba Moose and Stockton (California) Heat, who have relocated for this season to Calgary, home of their NHL affiliate.
The top feeder league for the NHL hasn’t released the Canadian schedule past February.