The IIHF has agreed in principle to a new set of dates for the 2021 Women’s World Championship, which will now be scheduled to take place between August 20-31. The event was originally supposed to start next week in Halifax, but was canceled just as players were set to arrive for their quarantine period. The venue for the rescheduled tournament is still to be determined, but several locales have expressed interest in hosting. The dates announced are obviously much later than anticipated, but IIHF president Rene Fasel explained:
The players, the teams, Hockey Canada, and the IIHF have been placed in a difficult position due to the sudden cancellation. But this is not an excuse to operate this tournament as a half-measure. We needed a range of dates that can work for the teams and also would allow for comprehensive broadcast coverage as well as a chance for spectators to be able to attend the games.
The tournament also needed to be over well before Olympic qualification begins in November and other leagues around the world start up. The IIHF is working with Hockey Canada to evaluate potential venues and expects to make a choice in the coming weeks.
- While the women’s worlds look for a new venue, management teams are starting to prepare for the upcoming men’s tournament which is set to begin in just under three weeks. Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports that Josh Norris of the Ottawa Senators has been contacted by Team USA as a candidate to take part and he is “definitely interested.” The 21-year-old center has blossomed into quite the player this season for the Senators, scoring 15 goals and 32 points in his rookie season. Originally selected by the San Jose Sharks in 2017, he came to Ottawa as part of the Erik Karlsson deal and is on a path to stardom with the Senators.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets may not have much left to play for this season, but don’t tell Emil Bemstrom. The 21-year-old forward has missed most of the season with a lower-body injury and doesn’t have a single goal, but was activated today from injured reserve. Bemstrom was a strong performer for the team a year ago and would be a nice late-season story if he can get going in the final few games.