The Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL announced on Monday that they were suspending operations for the 2020-21 season due to safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The team said that it plans to return for the 2021-22 season.
The rumors first began to swirl over the weekend, as players were informed that there would not be a season for the IceRays. According to one source, the NAHL plans to hold a dispersal draft for players on the team’s protected list, which includes the IceRays veteran players, tenders, and draft picks.
“The Corpus Christi IceRays have been great members of the NAHL for the past 10 years, but unfortunately due to the current landscape and circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have made the difficult decision to suspend operations,” stated NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “We support their decision and will make sure that we are there to facilitate their return to the league for the 2021-22 season.”
The IceRays may not even be the last NAHL team to suspend for this season. Hockey writer Mark Divver reported on Tuesday that the Kansas City Scouts will announce soon that they are also suspending for the upcoming season.
Corpus Christi IceRays Team President Cassidy Lange made the following statement: “The Corpus Christi IceRays have always operated as a community-focused organization. Our goal is to not only entertain our community, but also set an example for giving back to the people and organizations that have supported hockey in the Coastal Bend for 22 seasons. The IceRays are a family-owned and operated organization, and we consider anyone who supports and helps further our initiatives as such. In times of turbulence, family comes first. After much consideration surrounding the developments of COVID-19, and for the health and safety of our organizational family, which includes our players, our coaches, our operating and arena staff, our billet families, and the fans that make up the greater Corpus Christi and Coastal Bend communities, we have made the difficult decision to suspend operations for the upcoming 2020-21 season and return for the 2021-22 season. To our fans, our corporate partners and all those that have supported us for over two decades: thank you. We cannot stress enough how appreciative we are of your devotion to Corpus Christi IceRays hockey. This decision was not taken lightly, and we hope you understand considering the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will miss seeing all of you this season, but we are already looking forward to building toward the 2021-22 season and coming back stronger than ever.”