The international ice hockey calendar 2020-21, like everything that happens during the coronavirus pandemic, is delicate. In addition to some friendly encounters during the summer, many international matches, tournaments and events were cancelled. Restrictions on international travel, epidemics among club teams and many other problems will continue to challenge the planned events.
This week is the first international break of the young season, when club teams across Europe take a break to allow players to compete in smaller tournaments. This is the first major test of international ice hockey to be followed closely. In addition, preparations are being made for the world championship for juniors, which will take place on the 25th. December in Edmonton, Alberta, where the tournament will be played without fans and in a bubble situation that simulates the Stanley Cup NHL playoffs. This tournament and its success will have an important influence on the rest of the international calendar.
To explain in more detail what the world of ice hockey will look like this year, we have touched on a number of important topics. It’s not worth it if some of them don’t have clear answers for a while.
What comes first in the international calendar?
The first international tournament, the Karjala Cup, is currently taking place in Finland. This tournament is often attended by the best European professionals from Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Russia, although Russia has sent its U20 team to prepare the world’s juniors.
The German Cup will be played in Germany, albeit with fewer teams than usual, under the new restrictions of the country’s blockade. Often a four-country tournament with European professional players, the German National Cup also takes place every two years. This time it will be different. Instead, the German national team will compete against Latvia and some kind of German B-team. In this list, several famous U20 players, including the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, have chosen Lucas Reichel.
It is remarkable that the German head coach Tony Soderholm has passed the KOVID-19 test positively and will not participate in the tournament. Detroit Red Wings Moritz Seider Avenue will not join the German team due to travel restrictions and will stay with his Swedish Premier League club, where he currently plays on loan.
What about the World Junior Championship in 2021?
For the time being it seems that all systems are on their way to Edmonton to prepare the World Championships for juniors in 2021 in a bubble. The tournament is attended by 10 teams and is held from the age of 25. From December to December 5. January. All matches are played in the Rogers Arena, home of the Edmonton Oylers and the last Stanley Cup play-offs. Among the participating countries are the defending champions from Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Austria and the United States.
There’s something else you need to know:
- All teams must be ready by 1:00 p.m. They will arrive in Edmonton in December and will be subject to strict health regulations and inspections throughout their stay.
- The tournament is played without fans.
- NHL teams have been informed that they will not be able to send scouts to broadcast the game live.
- The IIHF will also expand its rosters from 23 to 25 players.
- The tournament field has been frozen because neither team will be relegated or promoted to the top division of U20 ice hockey.
How do teams prepare for the tournament in unique circumstances?
Hockey Canada recently announced a roster of 46 players for its monthly camp. Players aged 16 and over. From November to November 13th. December in the town of Red Deer, Alberta in a bubble. Why did Hockey Canada need such a long camp? Neither the Western Hockey League nor the Hockey League of Ontario can return to work before the end of the World Championships for juniors. International humanitarian law expects the 6th session of the UN General Assembly to be held in Brussels. International humanitarian law recently announced that the shortened season could begin on 6 January. The month of February is about to begin. This means that a large part of the Canadian players’ pool will remain on the sidelines until the tournament starts. In the meantime, players from the Quebec youth hockey league and NCAA players attending the camp could miss much of their season. (The QMJHL is already on its way, and the NCAA teams should be back in the game by November 14).
That’s what you need to know, including the plans for the NHL season and how it can work.
– What the NHL will look like in 2020-21
– NHL and KOVID-19 : What do we know
– What do we know about international events
– In the plans of the minor leagues
– How KOVID-19 will influence the prospects
The United States already had its own evaluation camp, where 39 players met in Plymouth, Michigan, for six days at the beginning of October. The American hockey team will select its team at the beginning of December and travel to Edmonton in mid-December for the final training camp. For most NCAA candidates, he can also get a handful of matches to judge the team, while players in the Canadian ice hockey league should hope to have played well enough in the camp to stay on the radar of the U.S. ice hockey squad.
Elsewhere, Russia has sent its U-20 team to the Karjala Cup, as I said. A series of matches between the Swedish and Finnish U-20 teams was scheduled this week in Sweden in preparation for the World Junior Championship. However, they were cancelled on Thursday when the Swedish ice hockey club announced that two Swedish players had tested positive for the coronavirus during the previous day’s shows. It was a reminder of the problems that still exist.
If everything goes as planned, there’s 5 of them. January, starting with Christmas and ending with the Bronze and Gold Medal Games, which the World Juniors only play on television.
What are the events of which we know with certainty that they will not occur?
Many international events have already been cancelled, starting with the Glinka Grecki Cup, the under-18s tournament that was to take place in Edmonton in August. This would be one of the best initial opinions on the 2021 project. Just like the World Junior Summer Show and the U17 Five Nations Tournament, this tournament has been removed from the beginning of the season.
Off-season tournaments organized by Hockey Canada, which often offer good opportunities for scouting in North America, have also been cancelled. These include the U-17 World Ice Hockey Challenge and the U-17 World Ice Hockey Challenge. Both events have been cancelled and will only be replaced next season, which has cost a significant number of players an important development and evaluation opportunity.
– Free desk: Signature | Score
– Project: Analysis of the sample |
Estimates – Off-season estimates for all 31 NHL teams .
In the field of international club hockey, the Champions League was postponed and then completely cancelled for the 2020-21 season, with a return scheduled for 2021-22. The tournament is generally followed by the top 32 European clubs, with the exception of the CHL, and North American fans have more access to international club hockey thanks to free broadcast packages in the US and Canada. Bad luck this year.
The IIHF has also cancelled its continental cup championships and many world championships, which are often a gateway to international ice hockey for many countries working towards this goal. Including the five men’s U20 World Junior Championships. The only high-level event that was cancelled was the IIHF U-18 Women’s World Championship, where the United States wanted to defend their title in Linköping, Sweden. The decision to cancel rather than postpone or move the tournament was controversial, as most participants in the tournament have only one chance to participate, given the age characteristics.
The IIHF board has admitted that we cannot put parents of players under 18 in a difficult situation by signing the permission of their daughters to participate in an overseas tournament, says IIHF president René Fasel in a comment on the IIHF website. This care has already been communicated to us by several participating teams. I spoke directly with one of the leaders of the U18 women’s team that will play and they expressed serious discomfort about travelling with their team to play in the current environment.
Okay, so what other major international tournaments are going on?
The IIHF has yet to decide on some of its other tent demonstrations.
The World Men’s Championship in 2021 is just around the corner, although the IIHF has other things to consider than COWID-19 for its annual crown jewellery event. The tournament starts on the 21st. From May to June 6 in Riga (Latvia) and Minsk (Belarus), so a little later than usual. However, the pretence of the recent presidential elections in Belarus, which led to massive demonstrations and protests, particularly in Minsk, has forced the IIHF to reconsider its position. The Latvian government has also expressed reservations about the joint organisation of the event.
In each episode Emily Kaplan and Greg Viszynski bring you the latest news, big editions and special guests of the NHL. Listen to me very carefully.
In response, the IHF Council set up an expert group to analyse many issues, including the health and safety of participants and spectators. Fazel is determined to invest as much time as necessary to find the right solution.
The IIHF will wait a while before deciding on the World Women’s Championship, which will be held in Nova Scotia as originally planned. It is remarkable that Nova Scotia has experienced one of the strictest quarantines and local restrictions of any Canadian province – and with good results. This is why local KVMJHL teams can still play games, even if all teams in Quebec are still on break. The world of women is still provisional for the 7th to 17th centuries. April, but the local health authorities will probably have the last word on what’s going on there.
The same applies to the World Championships for men under the age of 18, which will be held in Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the same venues that were planned before the tournament was cancelled in 2020. This is one of the biggest events on the season calendar on the eve of the NHL design. This tournament takes place from the 15th to the 25th. April.
What is the role of income?
The IIHF derives most of its income from the World Championship and the World Championship for juniors. These two events help to filter funds for many other events that often lose money, even in normal years.
The IIHF World Championships and the Junior Championships are our flagship, said Fazel in an interview and in response to questions from IIHF.com. The proceeds from our best tournaments are used to finance all of the more than 30 tournaments we organize each year. If these tournaments cannot take place, we cannot support any of them.
Some of the world’s juniors were rescued because both Hockey Canada and the IIHF would have suffered incredible revenue losses from television, in addition to the revenue losses already predicted for ticket sales without the fans. The same can be said of the World Cup for men, although it is not yet clear whether it would be realistic to keep it as it is. It is therefore questionable whether the IIHF will be able to hold other world championships on its programme.
There’s still a lot to clear up. The international calendar is an important part of every hockey season. But like everything else, we are usually in standby mode for upcoming events.