After two positive tests for coronavirus, Hockey Canada discontinued their World Junior training camp.
The International Ice Hockey Federation has canceled dozens of tournaments over the past few months due to the Kovid-19 pandemic, from marquee events such as the 2020 World Championships to mini-junior tournaments for men’s and women’s hockey.
One of the few tournaments left on the schedule is the 2021 World Junior Championships, one of the major events on the IIHF calendar. Top Under-20 men’s hockey players from around the world are competing for their country and this is a major event for hockey fans and NHL teams as they see their best chances of becoming one of the biggest stages in the world.
To withdraw the event, the organizers took a page from the NHL. The tournament was originally intended to host both Edmonton and Red Deer in Alberta, but will now be limited to Edmonton in the constraint bubble, similar to the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.
At least, that’s the plan.
Team Canada is currently hosting their World Junior Camp in Alberta, in an effort to send the 46 invited players to the final list of 25 players. That camp is currently discontinued, however, thanks to two positive coronavirus tests, and the entire team is subject to a 14-Rome blockade.
“Hockey Canada has confirmed that all players, coaches and staff are considered close acquaintances and are therefore subject to a mandatory 14-day detention period under Alberta Health Services Order 05-2020,” Hockey Canada said in a statement. “According to Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff go through additional inspections before resuming all camp activities.”
The team will continue to hold meetings and workouts in Zoom during the two-week detention, which takes place exactly one month before the first games of the tournament are to be played on Christmas Day. This gives the team time to complete their detention and return to training camp, make cuts to their list and be ready to play.
The question is what will happen if Team Canada, or any of the other nine countries participating in the tournament, has positive à tests near Christmas or even after the tests start.
Canada is not the only team to have to suspend operations due to positive COVID-19 tests. Sweden canceled a camp against Finland in early November and several planned games. The annual “Fincompen” is a big part of the process of reducing their list, but two The players tested positive after traveling to Malm for camp. Both players are asymptomatic.
Sweden’s Arvid Kastmar and Victor Persson are on the Vancouver Canc అవకాశాలుs squad’s camp and games.
Another problem is that the situation in Alberta has changed significantly since the Stanley Cup playoffs. At the time, Alberta Premier Jason Kenny Edmonton had 49 active COVID-19 cases. Although Team Canada announced their detention, Alberta declared a public health emergency because cases continue to rise in the province. Alberta currently has the third highest number of active COVID-19 cases in Canada after Ontario and Quebec.
With more active cases, it is difficult to operate a fully constrained bubble for the World Junior Tournament. Hotel staff, arena staff, or catering are always in touch with the outside world. During the Stanley Cup playoffs, the odds were low that any of those contact locations would carry the virus and pass it on to players; With so many more cases now, the disparity has increased.
He said the NHL had a similar experience before the playoffs. Before moving to Edmonton, the St. Louis Blues had “multiple” positive COVID-19 tests at their training camp. They canceled practice, detained the players, and were able to come back together and travel to Edmonton. The NHL did not have a single positive test in the bubble during the entire playoffs.
Let’s hope the same thing happens with World Juniors.