Yesterday, the USHL announced two teams, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and the Madison Capitols, will not participate in the 2020-21 season due to separate issues.

Cedar Rapids will not be taking part in the 2020-21 season due to significant damages to their home arena during a storm on August 10th. The Madison Capitols will not be playing due to restrictions in their county regarding COVID-19 and it would effect their ability to host games with spectators.

The USHL stated that both teams will be back for the 2021-22 season, and that a dispersal draft will be held soon for players on both their rosters.

“This is an extremely difficult decision for our organization as we are deeply disappointed for our players, fans and the Madison community, however, due to Dane County’s restrictions, we are unable to play games and host fans in our venue. We are preparing our return in the 2021-22 season.” said Capitols Owner, and current Minnesota Wild defenceman Ryan Suter.

“The property damage suffered in the entire Cedar Rapids area by its residents and businesses was significant,” said RoughRiders President, General Manager and Head Coach Mark Carlson. “Our community will rebuild and recover from the storm. We have already begun planning our return for the USHL 2021-22 hockey season.”

USHL president Tom Garrity added: “Both clubs were resolute in their desire to take the ice, but ultimately these extenuating circumstances prevent them from playing this season, We share the disappointment of RoughRiders and Capitols fans, and we look forward to welcoming these Clubs back for the 2021-22 season.”

If you aren't familiar with the USHL, it is the top junior hockey league in the USA. It was founded in 1947 and consists of 16 teams (14 for the 2020-21 season). The Madison Capitols joined the league in 2014, while Cedar Rapids joined in 1999.

It is unfortunate that both Madison and Cedar Rapids aren't going to be playing this coming season, but in order to function in future seasons, taking a year hiatus might be the smart thing to do. In Cedar Rapids case, finding an arena to host games may not have been an easy task, as it would involve trying to find billet families for players, etc. For Madison, there is not much they can do to control current COVID-19 restrictions. Not being able to have fans would have been a big economic loss for their franchise, by taking a year off, not having to keep the lights on in the arena, paying league fees, etc., will help them in the long run.

The USHL plans to begin their 2020-21 season on November 6th.

Source: USHL
SEPTEMBER 19, 2020  (14H59)