The Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the international hockey calendar. Earlier this week, the IIHF announced the cancellation of six upcoming tournaments at the Under-18 and Women’s levels but the top tournaments at each level were still an option. That doesn’t appear to be the case for the latter now as TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (Twitter link) that the IIHF has cancelled the 2020 Women’s World Hockey Championship. The tournament was slated to begin later this month in Eastern Canada.
It’s only the second time that the tournament has been cancelled with the other instance occurring in 2003 during the SARS outbreak. Ten countries were slated to participate: Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States.
No decisions have been made yet on the World Under-18’s which feature many of the top draft-eligible prospects or the Men’s World Hockey Championship which has many players from non-playoff teams involved. The Under-18’s are set to take place in Michigan next month while the Men’s Worlds are scheduled for May in Switzerland. Earlier this month, IIHF President Rene Fasel indicated that March 15th could be the deadline to make calls on those tournaments while the potential to play without fans in attendance wasn’t an option that was being considered. As a result, there is likely to be more news on the international front in the near future.