Madison Capitols cancel 2020-21 season, cite Dane Co. health restrictions

A generic photo of a hockey puck on ice
1971: The World Hockey Association is formed, giving the NHL its first major competition since the collapse of the Western Hockey League in 1926. The WHA, which would begin play in October 1972, would last for seven seasons before ceasing operations in 1979, with four teams, the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets, merging with the NHL for the 1979-80 season.

MIDDLETON, Wis. — The Madison Capitols have canceled the team’s 2020-21 season citing Dane County health restrictions that limit indoor gatherings due to coronavirus concerns.

In a statement released Friday, Capitols President Andrew Joudrey said the team would be unable to play games at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena because hockey is considered “high risk,” which means it isn’t allowed to be played.

“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,” Joudrey said. “While we won’t be playing this year, we won’t go dark and will still be a part of the Madison community as much as possible. We are preparing for our return in the 2021-22 season.”

According to the statement, team officials had been working to come up with a plan to safely return to the ice, but the Capitols and local health officials weren’t able to find a resolution.

The United States Hockey League is scheduled to start Nov. 6.