Kenai River Brown Bears defenseman Preston Weeks moves the puck up the ice against the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River Brown Bears defenseman Preston Weeks moves the puck up the ice against the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Voices of the Peninsula: What to expect this Brown Bears season

To answer the big questions, yes, we do expect to play a season in 2020-21.

  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:14pm
  • Opinion

Dear Brown Bear fans, sponsors, volunteers, and billet families,

I want to give you an update on the status of the Kenai River Brown Bears and the upcoming NAHL season. In a normal year, the players would have reported to training camp and be active in the community. From practice to the Brown and Gold game, they would be working hard to earn a spot on the roster and getting themselves into game shape.

To answer the big questions, yes, we do expect to play a season in 2020-21. The start of our regular season was pushed from September to October, and it will conclude later, toward the end of April. Playoffs will begin in May and end after Memorial Day. The Midwest Division expects to play as close to a full schedule as possible under the circumstances. Our players will be tested before training camp, and we are working diligently with our staff to build upon the NAHL’s safety protocols. Safety to our players, staff, billet families and the community at large will be high priority.

With travel restrictions, travel protocols, COVID testing, etc., we are faced with looking at everything through a wide lens. With all factors considered, we have concluded that we will begin the season in Minnesota. Our plan is to host training camp and play the first portion of our season there. As we all face daily, COVID is constantly evolving and moving, making it hard to get concrete facts to make decisions from. We hope to be back in Alaska when COVID and travel protocols allow.

This is the 14th season for the Kenai River Brown Bears. On the ice, playoffs were imminent, and the team was having great success. HOME ice advantage was ours! Off the ice, we spent time in the schools and want to continue to volunteer in the community on a regular basis.

As a fan, we want you to be able to safely enjoy our events. We will work with each arena staff to follow safety protocols and look forward to playing live on the peninsula.

As a billet family and volunteers, we hope you can support the team in the best way you are comfortable. We understand the challenges but still want and need you to help us this season. Your safety and health are a priority, please communicate with us if you are not comfortable and need to “pause” in helping this season. If you would like to help, please reach out!

As a sponsor, your support is needed like always. It is a challenging time and all businesses need to be solvent to ensure a strong future. Your support, whether it be meals, lodging, sponsorship or marketing, are all needed to continue to build the Brown Bears organization

We cannot thank you enough for sticking with us during the pandemic. The Brown Bears are the peninsula’s team. We are proud to be representing the peninsula in the NAHL!


Chris Hedlund

general manager

Kenai River Brown Bears


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