SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The American Hockey League announced on Wednesday that due to COVID-19 protocols, it will not be hosting a traditional playoff tournament to determine a Calder Cup champion.

Each of the league’s five divisions was provided an opportunity to determine its own postseason format, with the Pacific Division hosting a postseason tournament with the format to be determined at a later time.

The remaining four divisions have decided to not host any kind of postseason and will determine division champions by regular-season performance.

AHL President and CEO Scott Howson said, “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.”

“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 our players and staff throughout the league,” Howson said.

The Hershey Bears currently sit at the top of the Northern Division with 38 points and an 18-6-2 record on the season so far.

The AHL also announced that next season is scheduled to start on October 15 later this year. Division alignments and schedule information will be announced in the offseason.