This spring just wasn't the same without playoff hockey. Like the Spongebob waiting memes, Idaho Steelheads fans have been waiting for the ECHL to announce return to play plans. 

The ECHL canceled the end of the 2019-2020 minor league hockey season just two days after Idaho's first confirmed case of COVID-19. The league's commissioner explained that it as a difficult decision but ECHL hockey isn't the same without the fans in the stands and making that decision would allow players to be home with their families.

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In August, the league announced plans to delay the season by two months and open in December. That's still the game plan, but the Idaho Steelheads aren't one of the teams returning to play the week of December 11.

Instead, they'll play a 62-game schedule and return to play on January 15, 2021 upon jurisdictional approval. The regular season will wrap up on June 6, 2021.

What will the playoffs look like this year? That's yet to be finalized but with a split-season scenario with some teams playing 72 games and others are playing 62, the standings will be based on winning percentage.

While we wait for the Steelies to return to the newly renamed "Idaho Central Arena" the arena itself is getting a face lift. As the rebrand begins, a green Idaho Central logo will be added to the exterior of the arena.