Rapid City Rush: “Disappointed, but the correct decision”
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush’s season came to an abrupt end on Saturday night.
The ECHL Board of Governors decided to cancel the season, just two days after it had decided to suspend play because of the coronavirus.
Unlike most professional sports leagues that are in a wait-and-see approach, the ECHL decided to take the immediate steps to cancel the season for the health and safety of the players, employees and fans.
Rapid City Rush President Todd Mackin said the league considered several options before deciding that it was the right decision.
“As an organization and as a league, we had to jump on this as quick as we possibly could and do our due diligence,” Rush President Todd Mackin said. We did go through all kinds of different options. Everything from taking three weeks off and coming back to the playoffs to pushing back the regular season and try to make that work. We tried to do everything we possibly could to make the season work. But with some states like Ohio shutting down for eight weeks, it made it very very difficult for us to put together a formulation that worked great for everybody.”
“It’s sad in a way,” Rush head coach Daniel Tetrault said. “You say goodbye. There’s no playoffs. No championship awarded. I’m pretty sure the NHL will follow suit here soon the way this virus is going. It’s disappointing for sure.
The Rapid City Rush finished the season with a record of 29-25-5-1.
As a matter of fact, the Rush were fifth in the Mountain Division, just two points behind Tulsa for the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Rush still had 12 games remaining on their schedule including six more home games.
Every team, including the Rush, will have to take a financial hit.
“People got to understand, we have 36 dates to make money for our organization to operate for an entire year,” Todd Mackin said. “We don’t have TV money like the NHL. We don’t have additional ways to make money with radio broadcasts and things like that. It is our games and it is these fans and it is our community. So while we take a hit, we understand that it’s important to be steadfast in our community and also understand that everybody else is going through a lot of these same pains, as well. So its not just us. We understand that. So for the best of our community, we’re going to have to do some things that aren’t always going to be in our financial best interest.”
The Rapid City Rush players had their year-end physicals on Sunday and will soon receive their final pay checks for this season.