The Madison Capitals are suspending operations for the 2020-21 USHL season stemming from what the league is calling “significant county restrictions related to COVID-19 that affect their ability to practice, play and host spectators.”
Capitols owner, NHL defenseman Ryan Suter, said he asked the county for a 25 percent capacity for home games with a mask mandate, and then followed that up by asking for the team to be allowed to play with no fans, but the governor’s office denied both requests.
“It’s a shame that we couldn’t make something work,” Suter told the Wisconsin State Journal.
“We were doing everything we could … begging them, basically, to let us play,” Suter said. “And they wouldn’t.”
Suter told the paper that team president Andrew Joudrey and head coach Tom Upton, who was hired this offseason from Mercyhurst, will remain on during the suspension but other full-time staff face the possibility of being furloughed.
Capitols players, as well as players from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, which suspended operations as well on Friday due to arena damage, will be distributed via a dispersal draft.
“Both clubs were resolute in their desire to take the ice, but ultimately these extenuating circumstances prevent them from playing this season,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “We share the disappointment of RoughRiders and Capitols fans, and we look forward to welcoming these Clubs back for the 2021-22 season.”
The USHL is preparing a 14-team regular season schedule to be released soon. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Friday, November 6.