The World Juniors is coming back to Edmonton.
The tournament kicked off in Alberta’s capital last December, but ultimately was put on hold after COVID-19 outbreaks limited the available players for a number of teams.
Three games were forfeited due to cases that forced entire teams into mandatory quarantine periods as they awaited further testing.
Now, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Edmonton will be hosting the tournament in its entirety this summer.
World Junior news. Edmonton will host the entire World Junior Hockey Championship in August.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 18, 2022
Rumours have been swirling for months that it would return to Edmonton.
“It will be in the middle of August in Alberta,” IIHF president Luc Tardif said in February. “It will be a new competition, which means we forget the results (in December).
“We are talking with all participants and are negotiating on details. It will be after the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. It will be a hockey festival and the teams are excited to do it.”
News of the initial cancellation was broke by Daily Faceoff’s Chris Peters. At the time, questions arose about the conditions surrounding the tournament for players.
According to Peters’ sources who were in Red Deer expressed frustration over a moving target on protocols, as well as the fact that teams were staying in public hotels.
Edmonton, however, will get another shot at making this tournament right and I, for one, can’t wait to see it. In an ideal world, it might not be the worst thing to try and set up a mini-bubble for the players in order to mitigate any potential COVID-19 risks.
Now, teams will get to work in building out rosters for the tournament. No word at this point on how that will all work.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]