This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Opinion: Cold Hands, Small Crowd: Reflections from Weird World Junior Championships

Article Author:

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

Gemma Karstens-Smith

Sweden's Liam Ohgren (25), checks Switzerland's Nick Meile (2) as a fan watches during second period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on August 10, 2022. Between scandals, summer and a relative lack of star power, tickets to the world junior hockey championships haven't been a huge draw.
Liam Ogren of Sweden ( 25), check out what fans are watching Nick Meile (2) of Switzerland during the second period of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton on August 10, 2022. It wasn't a big draw. Photo credit: JASON FRANSON /THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON — Not used to wearing hoodies8 Moon.

That said, I'll be covering the Canadian Press World Junior Hockey Championships at Rogers Place this month, so this is a must-have.

The thermometer outside may show 30 degrees for him, but his makeshift press area on the fifth floor of the arena shows frozen fingers and cracked teeth. I decided to wear a bulky winter jacket to keep it from rattling.

Unexpected cold weather and quirky clothing are just a few of the things that make this tournament unique.

World Juniors is known as a Christmas showcase for the best hockey players under his 20s from around the world. It is an event that many athletes and fans look forward to every winter.

The first 2022 tournament began in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta last December, when his COVID-19 cases increased among players and officials, and several games were canceled. Play was stopped after just four days, as the game was forfeited.

Instead of scrapping the event entirely, the International Ice Hockey Federation moved it to August.

Meanwhile, Hockey Canada was hit by a scandal when there were sexual assault allegations against two former world junior team players. The allegations prompted a congressional investigation, and the federal government froze funding for the organization.

Longtime sponsors such as Telus, Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons also raised money, and the ice and surrounding boards at Rogers Place were devoid of their usual logos.

Despite increased scrutiny, Hockey Canada went to great lengths to host the tournament.

But some stars have decided to stay home.

The IIHF has allowed a player who has already turned 20 to participate in the tournament due to the postponement, but some players have decided to cancel his NHL training next month at his camp. I have decided to miss the tournament for various reasons including my preparation.

Canada was drafted 4th overall by Owen Power, the 1st overall pick in his 2022 NHL Entry Draft, and Seattle's Kraken in July. I'm missing forward Shane Wright.

The Canadian has had no trouble battling without top talent, finishing his four qualifying round matches undefeated. They will face Switzerland (1-3) in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

Slovakia, on the other hand, missed Yulay Slavkovski and Simon Nemek, who were drafted first and his second in this year's draft, and in the round robin he went 0-3-1. missed out on making the playoffs.

There will be no Russian players at this year's tournament, and the IIHF has banned Russia from participating due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Between the scandal, the summer and the relative lack of star power, the ticket to the World Juniors was not a big draw.The average attendance for the 20 qualifying rounds was 1,319.

Juniors around the world usually see fans from all over the world dressed up in colorful jerseys and face paintings of him, carrying autographs. Instead, this year's crowd seems to consist mostly of people wearing the team's Canadian apparel.

Around the rink there is little of the raucous atmosphere that usually accompanies tournaments.

In May, as the Oilers won the playoffs and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, crowds flocked to bars and restaurants in the Icefield District and around downtown Edmonton. The same space is now mostly empty. Finding a parking space near the rink is really easy, but still exorbitant.

Even the 50/50 jackpot is affected by a strange confluence of events.

When the 2021 tournament was held in bubble conditions in Edmonton due to his COVID-19, hockey fans showed their support by playing online, earning millions of dollars. It created an amazing jackpot. One Alberta woman took home $8.7 million.

There will be draws in several states online this time, and tickets will be sold directly at Rogers Arena. But only one pot to split instead of 50/50 every day.

As of Wednesday afternoon — her eight days into the tournament — Alberta's jackpot was just over $192,000.

This Canadian Press report was first published on August 17, 2022.

Posted Newsletter logo

Sign up to receive daily top stories from National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

By clicking the Sign Up button, you agree to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking unsubscribe. Link at the bottom of our email. Post Media Networks Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300