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Hockey Canada tries to 'save' world juniors amid scandal, low ticket sales

Amid sluggish ticket sales, an influx of sponsors and a national sexual assault scandal,Hockey Canadais theWorld Junior seems to be trying to "rescue" the championship, says one expert.

The tournament takes place Tuesday in Edmonton, Alberta, and thousands of tickets are still available. Postponed late last year as a result of the proliferation of Omicron variants.

In the months that followed, the national organization was embroiled in accusations and controversy over its handling of allegations. As a result, regional tourism group Explore Edmonton told Global News that it had paused promotions for the tournament in July.

"We continue to have discussions with Hockey Canada stakeholders regarding plans to address the need for change as the host city of our next tournament," said the CEO of Explore Edmonton. Traci Bednard said.

For sports culture expert Dan Mason, this is no big surprise.

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"Hockey Canada is suffering because of the lack of sponsorships and regular promotions. They "I don't think it's necessarily something they really want to do, given the circumstances they're in," said Mason, a professor of sports management at the University of Alberta. I think they are just using this opportunity to develop players.”

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World Juniors has announced that players under the age of 20 are eligible to participate in hockey's National League. It is an international championship that competes for the participation right of the team operated by.

It is run by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and confirmed last week that a growing number of public bodies are investigating Hockey Canada for its handling of allegations of sexual assault.Switzerland The Zurich-based global governing body for ice hockey is asking for more information amid a continuing storm of criticism and accusations that have rocked Hockey Canada to its core. It is a serious incident and the IIHF is taking it very seriously," the organization told Global News on Aug. 1.

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TSN 5 In May, it first reported that Hockey Canada had settled a lawsuit alleging that a young woman, "E.M.," was sexually assaulted. After a celebration hosted by the organization, he was attacked by eight hockey players, including members of the 2018 Canadian World Junior Team.

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Since then, Hockey Canada has been embroiled in investigations that: Federal Sports Minister, Financial Audit, New Criminal Investigation by Police in London, Ontario, NHL Investigation.

The organization lost several major sponsors of the World Junior Tournament, including Tim Hortons, Terrace, Canadian Tire and Scotiabank, and faced rebellion from state hockey organizations that had sworn to withhold funding. did. The chairman of the board has left, but Scott Smith remains president. Former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell is leading a governance review scheduled for November.

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After that review, it remains unclear whether Smith will stay in the role.

Meanwhile,Canadian parents are outraged. In particular, secret funds used to pay off sexual assault complainants using parent-paid registration fees were used for children to stomp and play Tom Connors. I am furious with what happened. It used to be called "the good old hockey game".

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Mason Responds to Impact of Exposure in the number of youth registrations who said they expected to see

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We do not want to penalize players who say they believe

Randy Thompson told Global News outside Edmonton's Rogers Center. He plans to attend several games, and after years of disruption due to COVID-19, he feels like watching the juniors has returned to a "great tradition", he said. Told.

"I think it's on the minds of all of us. I hope there's a positive solution to it," he said of the allegations and protests facing Hockey Canada.

"But hockey is still the same, and we shouldn't be too influenced by it. I think we need to stay true to hockey culture and hockey tradition." , I know the right people will handle things."

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The Canadian team is set to face Latvia on Wednesday in the first game of the tournament.

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Team Canada's head coach André Turigny says coaches know their players are in the spotlight. He said he was emphasizing the protests facing Hockey Canada, but kept his remarks in his media brief.

"We have dealt with this and are aware that there are steps to be taken," Tourigny said earlier this week.

READ MORE: Sexual Abuse “Silent The 'Platform' is still deeply ingrained in Canadian sports, says former league head

Brenda Andres, 12-year commissioner of the Canadian Women's Hockey League, told Global News She said she still sees a "platform of silence" in Canadian sports when it comes to sexual abuse and sexual allegations.

She said in an interview last week that many people are still

"As long as I've been in the sport, there's been a law of silence. There's a culture we've created, but our I think most can't handle the truth that's out there -- it's really happening in our sporting world," said Andrés. It's time to look at it in a much deeper way than we are.”

— With files from Morgan Black of Global Edmonton.

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