The IIHF announced on Saturday that the 2020 World Hockey Championship has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With every other major hockey — and sports — league temporarily suspending play, it only seemed to be a matter of when the World Hockey Championship was also stopped.
The tournament was supposed to take place May 8-24 in Switzerland with Zurich and Lausanne being the host cities.
“This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept,” IIHF President René Fasel said in a statement. “The coronavirus is a global problem and requires major efforts by government bodies to combat its spread. The IIHF must do all it can to support this fight. We have to set sport aside for now and support both the government bodies and the ice hockey family.”
Refund policies for ticketholders are currently being clarified and will be released as soon as possible.
The IIHF also added that the potential for Switzerland to host another tournament in the future is a matter that will have to be discussed since all World Championship locations are currently set through 2025.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
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• Elliotte Friedman goes into great detail exploring the biggest questions the NHL is facing regarding the coronavirus, and suspension of its season. What would it take to resume play, and how might that look? Also, what about the salary cap, and the 2020-21 season? These questions need answers, and they haven’t been provided yet, but Friedman provides insight on the biggest questions the NHL faces. (Sportsnet)
• NHLers will be paid their final three checks, even though the season has been suspended (or “paused”). This decision is more complicated than it may seem at first. (ESPN)
• An “FAQ” about the pause for the coronavirus, via the league’s website. (NHL)
• Senators fans might agonize over how the NHL handles the draft lottery. (Sportsnet)
• Tuesday could be big as far as IIHF decisionmakers possibly canceling the 2020 World Championships. (Swiss Hockey News.ch)
• Remembering “Bad” Joe Hall, who died during the outbreak of the Spanish Flu. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
• K’Andre Miller reportedly signed an entry-level contract with the Rangers. The Rangers drafted Miller 22nd overall in 2018. Miller, 20, spent the past two seasons with the University of Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Speaking of NCAA Hockey, Michigan ranks as just one hockey team struggling to comprehend a season screeching to a halt. Michigan coach Mel Pearson said that telling players was “the hardest day I’ve ever had to address a team that the season is over.” (The Detroit News)
• An abstract idea for No. 1-ranked North Dakota to recognize the 2019-20 season. (Grand Forks Herald)
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.
In the aftermath of the announcement that the National Hockey League will pause the 2019-20 regular season, the AHL and ECHL have issued similar statements.
In addition, the Canadian Hockey League and its three regional leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, announced that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice.
According to the IIHF, the 2020 Ice Hockey World Championship has not been cancelled as of yet. The event is not slated to start until early May and a decision is not needed immediately.
The NWHL also announced that the 2020 Isobel Cup Final between the Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps has been postponed.
The entire sports community is in uncharted waters and as for what is next, it’s anyone’s guess.
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Peter Laviolette is returning to the bench after being selected as the coach of the United States men’s national team competing at the world hockey championships in May.
The move was announced by USA Hockey on Wednesday, and comes seven weeks after Laviolette was fired by the Nashville Predators.
Laviolette ranks 16th in NHL wins with 637 covering four teams over 18 seasons, including the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. He also coached the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers.
From Massachusetts, the 55-year-old Laviolette also has extensive experience representing the U.S. as a coach and player on the international stage.
The tournament being held in Switzerland will mark the fourth time Laviolette has coached the U.S. at the world championships, and first since 2014, when the Americans lost to Czech Republic in the quarterfinals in Belarus. He was also U.S. coach in 2004, when the team won a bronze medal, and ’05.
Laviolette also coached the national team to an eighth-place finish at the 2006 Olympics.
As a player, Laviolette was a two-time Olympian in representing the U.S. in 1988 and 1994, when he served as team captain.
”Peter is a terrific coach and someone who has had success wherever he’s been,” said USA Hockey’s John Vanbiesbrouck. ”We’re thrilled to have him back as head coach of our men’s national team.”
Team USA’s roster will begin being stocked once the NHL’s regular season concludes during the first weekend in April. The Americans have been limited to winning just six bronze medals since a silver-medal finish in 1950.
The world championships are scheduled to run from May 8 to 24.
ZURICH (AP) — The United States, Russia and defending champion Finland will join host Switzerland in an eight-team group based in Zurich at the 2020 hockey world championships.
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced the groups Tuesday, two days after Finland beat Canada in this year’s title game in Slovakia.
Top-ranked Canada heads the other eight-team group, which also includes 2017 and ’18 champion Sweden, in Lausanne. The venue is being built for the 2020 Youth Winter Olympics.
The 2020 worlds will be played from May 8-24.
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