According to The Athletic’s Ryan Nugent-Bowman, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks have announced that their rookie tournament that was set to take place in Penticton this coming September has been cancelled as a result of COVID-19.
No surprise, but Canucks and Oilers say the rookie tournament scheduled for September in Pentiction, B.C., has been cancelled. All four Western Canadian NHL teams were supposed to pariticipate.
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) July 2, 2020
Back in January (which seems like a lifetime ago at this point), the Oilers announced that they would be participating in the 2020 Young Stars tournament in Penticton after pulling out from the annual event in 2018. The tournament showcases some of the best prospects from the Oilers, Canucks, Flames, and Jets systems and provides fans with a look at the next generation of NHL talent. Well, in a surprise to no one, the Oilers along with the Canucks have announced that this year’s edition of the tournament would be cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January, Zach Laing reported on the Oilers being back in the mix after taking a year away:
The Oilers and Flames had pulled out of the tournament in 2018 which left fans with the ability to just watch the Canucks and Jets prospects battle it out. Last year, the tournament didn’t happen at all citing a lack of NHL participants. This year’s classic will feature all four clubs with the event running from Sept. 11 through Sept. 15 in a four-team, round-robin tournament.
Unfortunately, today’s news comes as yet another blow to sports with another summer item being crossed off the list as the world still comes to terms with how to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic. While I wouldn’t say that this news is overly surprising, I do feel bad for all of the kids that were looking forward to showing hockey fans what they can do, only to have the opportunity ripped away from them by a virus that is so clearly out of their control. Another tough day for hockey.