On February 5th, the Rockford IceHogs are officially coming back.

I have to admit, I took it for granted. Every year, from October to April (or maybe more if there are playoffs), I could head down to the BMO Harris Bank Center to watch one of my favorite teams, the Rockford IceHogs.

Last season, I got a late start checking them out in-person. Just as I started getting into it, the season was at first postponed and then finally canceled. The start of this season has been delayed for months with really no notice of when it could possibly start, if at all. I have heard a few rumors. Well, now we finally have an answer and it is good news.

According to icehogs.com,

"American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson announced today that the 2020-21 season will include 28 teams when it gets underway on February 5. The AHL will operate in five divisions this season. Further details, including schedule formats and playoffs, are still to be determined."

The Hogs will be in the Central Division which will include some familiar teams including the Chicago Wolves, Cleveland Monsters, Grand Rapids Griffins, Iowa Wild, and Texas Stars.

You might have noticed that one of Rockford's biggest rivals is missing from the list. They were not mistakenly left off or put in another division. That is the Milwaukee Admirals. Unfortunately, they will not be playing this upcoming season. They are one of three teams that opted out. They will not be penalized and shall return next year. Four teams in the AHL will be playing in different cities this year but none of them are in the IceHogs division.

Even though we do not have details for games at this point, I am guessing that when the season begins, there will be no fans allowed in-person to watch games. Like all of our other favorite teams and sports, we will just have to watch them at home on television. I am okay with that because I am just thankful to them back playing.

Video: Rockford IceHogs Josh McArdle is the first local kid to play for the team

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