Three American Hockey League teams have opted out of playing this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That leaves the AHL with 28 teams this season.
The league says the Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds opted out and will return in 2021-22.
Those teams are affiliates of the Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, respectively.
The Blues say they've worked out an agreement to send players to Utica, which is the top farm team for the Vancouver Canucks.
The Panthers and Predators haven't said what they'll do. Four other AHL teams will play their home games elsewhere this season.
The AHL is planning to start its season on Feb. 5 with temporary realignment.