Ottawa is one of several cities interested in hosting the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championships this summer

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The City of Ottawa is ready to throw its hat in the ring to host the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships this summer.

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Whether this will become a reality remains to be seen.

Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, confirmed to Postmedia on Friday that it was his organization that contacted Hockey Canada earlier this week about the possibility of hosting the tournament.

“Ottawa Tourism is still working to host major events in Ottawa, and we are in regular contact with most sports organizations,” Crockatt said in a statement. “Yes, we were the ones who expressed our interest, in a very preliminary way, so that we could get the information we needed to know if there was anything that we and our local partners could potentially do to help. “

On Insider Trading on TSN Thursday, Darren Dreger reported that City of Ottawa officials were among several locations that have contacted Hockey Canada to attempt to host the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships in August or August. September.

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The event was scheduled to take place next week in Nova Scotia, but the province canceled it on Wednesday due to COVID concerns.

Representatives from the Senators and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group told the newspaper Thursday night that they had not called. That’s not to say the two wouldn’t be thrilled to host the championship.

Ottawa Tourism was trying to get the information from Hockey Canada to see what the requirements are, and then they would in turn work with the Senators or OSEG or maybe representatives of both to see if that could work.

Dreger added that Charlottetown, British Columbia, Alberta, Finland and Dallas have all made requests.

IIHF officials are not happy that the Nova Scotia government decided to cancel it at the last minute.

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Rene Fasel, the president of the IIHF, wrote an open letter to participants and fans of women’s hockey on Friday to make it clear that the organization had no idea of ​​the move.

“While we have to accept this decision, the IIHF does not agree with the government’s position as we have done everything necessary to put the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures in place and have remained in place. close communication with relevant government and health authorities and with Hockey Canada throughout the preparation phase, ”Fasel wrote.

“As the IIHF and Hockey Canada were confident that this event would take place a few days before the announcement of the cancellation, this news was completely unexpected. “

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The IIHF felt it had all the right health and safety protocols in place with Hockey Canada and the teams were set to land in Halifax to begin a seven-day quarantine that included regular testing for COVID- 19. The IIHF got hot for not having a Plan B in place in case Fasel noted it wasn’t doable.

“Other than the fact that until Wednesday the IIHF had no reason to believe the Province of Nova Scotia would cancel the tournament in Halifax and Truro based on ongoing discussions and tournament preparation,” the logistics of maintaining a site as a ‘backup’ is not a viable solution, ”Fasel wrote.

“For example, keeping spare hotels for the exclusive use of the booked event, staff and two arenas that are IIHF compliant for a 10 team world championship event – in a province or country entirely different in case of cancellation in the main host region – just not possible from an expense and logistical point of view.

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Ontario is in the middle of its third wave of COVID-19, the rollout of mass vaccinations has been slower than expected, and it’s hard to predict what this summer will look like. The Canadian Tire Center and the Lansdowne Park rink could host games, but it could be difficult to get the go-ahead from Ontario.

The Senators and OSEG officials would probably love to be a part of using their venues, but both know firsthand how difficult it is to get the green light to play.

It should be noted that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has always supported women’s hockey and has a good relationship with Hockey Canada.

Fasel said the tournament has not been canceled and hopes it will be played this year due to what it means for participants and with the Winter Olympics set for 2022.

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“In this letter I want to make it clear to you our willingness to postpone this event to a new date, which would allow all teams to participate and give enough time for a host to do the necessary preparation,” said Fasel. “As well as giving the best female ice hockey players in the world a chance to compete together, we also know how important this event is to our national member associations, especially on the eve of an Olympic year.

“While it is not possible to immediately postpone to a new date and location as we again have to go through the preparation of the COVID-19 security protocol and have organizational discussions with Hockey Canada, we will do everything to that this event can take place as soon as possible. like summer 2021.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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