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What's Next? Dates to Look Forward To

Wednesday, June 30th
What's Next? Dates to Look Forward To

Although Indy’s season was ended earlier than anticipated, the Fuel are able to look back on the 2020-21 season and say that they had the most successful season in franchise history. Finishing the season with a record of 37-24-8-0 the Fuel earned the franchise’s highest ever win percentage and although being knocked out of the playoffs by Greenville, the 2020-21 Fuel team earned the franchise’s first-ever playoff win. 

“It was a good year,’ said Doug Christiansen. “I think that there’s a lot of things that we look back at that were really proud of. I loved the fact that our team took care of each other from a health point of view. I love the fact that our team was playing our best hockey down the stretch. I love the fact that we established at the beginning of the year that Indy can be one of the top teams in the league.”

While some players move home for the summer and begin to train for the 2021-22 season, others will stick around and recover from injuries sustained this year. While that goes on, Christiansen and his staff are already in the process of beginning to plan for the upcoming season. 

“Because we were so successful early, we got away with things,” said Christiansen. “Sometimes when you get away with things, then all of sudden some of that talent is gone, some of the players get injured, you have to kind of reinvent yourself and start all over again. I think the one thing were going to have to focus on for next year is ‘okay, we’re going to have a stretch where we’re not as good, we’re going to have a stretch where we have injuries, call ups, whatever it’s going to be, we have to have better habits.’”

So while we wait for next season, there are several key dates to keep an eye on. These dates will be critical for the construction of next year’s team.

Thursday, July 1 - Protected Lists due at 3 p.m. ET

ECHL teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish assuming the players protected meet the guidelines in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players' Association (PHPA). Any player who was under an ECHL contract with the Fuel last season and was not released or traded is likely to be protected. Any player that has gone overseas or been recalled to the NHL/AHL is also eligible to be protected. Players who received a qualifying offer last summer for the 2020-21 season and DID NOT sign with the Fuel can be protected. Therefore, although unlikely, players like Bobby MacIntyre, Craig Wyszomirski, Michael Doherty and Ryan Van Stralen could be protected this season. The ECHL Protected List has no limits in terms of a number of players. 

Monday, July 5 - Future Considerations Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET

The futures trade deadline puts a bow on any trade that is still outstanding. Here’s where the Fuel stands in terms of trades that need to be finalized by 3 p.m. on July 5.

  • Indy owes the Orlando Solar Bears a future consideration from the April 18 Jordan Schneider trade
  • Indy owes the Greenville Swamp Rabbits a future consideration from the April 22 Eric Williams trade

Thursday, July 8 - Season-Ending Rosters due at 3 p.m. ET

The Season-Ending roster is very similar to the Protected List. With the Season-Ending Roster, coaches are limited to 20 players and the player must have played on an ECHL contract during the 2020-21 season. 

From the list of 20 players on the Season-Ending Roster, teams are allowed to extend qualifying offers to eight of those players. A qualifying offer basically retains the ECHL rights to that player for the upcoming season. For example, if Player X goes overseas then wants to come back and play in the ECHL, the Fuel holds that player’s rights. Of those eight qualifying offers that the Fuel extends, only four can be veteran players. A veteran player is a player, other than a goaltender, who has played in at least 260 regular-season games of professional hockey.

Friday, July 9 - First day for Players to sign contracts for the 2021-22 season

Short and to the point. Doug Christiansen and his staff are able to start building his roster for the upcoming season.

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