While there isn't an official league schedule available yet, and no timeline for a return of fans to sporting arenas across New York State, there is a sign that things will start returning to some level of normalcy before too long (we hope!): The Utica Comets are getting ready to lace-up their skates and return to the ice.

The Comets are planning to start training camp at the Adirondack Bank Center next Tuesday, January 26. Camp will run each day through Friday, and barring any coronavirus related setbacks, Utica will host the rival Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, January 30.

Team officials say the training camp roster will be released soon. Remember, Utica has a dual affiliation for the 2020-21 campaign: Vancouver and St. Louis Blues.

Obviously, those practices and the exhibition game are closed to the public and the players will skate in front of an empty arenas for now. When Utica will play AHL games that count in the standings is still unclear, and when fans would be allowed in to cheer-on their team is even more cloudy.

The last two weekends of NFL playoff action have included some stadiums being allowed to host a limited capacity of fans. The Buffalo Bills, playing in an open-air field, were allowed to permit some 6,700 for each of their two home postseason tilts, after having to play in a completely empty Bills Stadium for all regular season home games. To-date, they are the only entity that's been allowed to host such a gathering since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, the Syracuse Crunch hit the ice for practice for the first time earlier today, the Syracuse Post reported.

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