The National Hockey League made the recent decision that they’d not be sending their players to the Beijing Olympics in February, and now the international stage has taken another hit with the cancellation of the IIHF World Junior Championship in a move that’s drawn heavy criticism.
The Detroit Red Wings were well represented in the tournament with the likes of Carter Mazur and Red Savage (Team USA), Sebastian Cossa and Donovan Sebrango (Canada), Simon Edvinsson and Theodor Niederbach (Sweden), Eemil Viro (Finland), and Jan Bednar (Czech Republic).
For Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, he’s disappointed with the cancellation of the tournament to say the least.
“I had a chance to talk to the (U.S.) World Junior team before the tournament and like a lot of people I was really excited to see this group,” Blashill said. “It’s honestly devastating. I was crushed to see it. It’s been a really hard couple years for a lot of people. These are these young people’s dreams. These are huge moments. I’ve had a chance to coach in the World Juniors.”
Officials have discussed resuming the tournament, which was scheduled to be completed on January 5, later next year in August or September. But for now, Blashill’s heart goes out to the young athletes who are having this tremendous opportunity removed from them.
“This World Junior group, the older guys on the team, if you go back to the start of this pandemic, they had their World Under-18s canceled (scheduled for Plymouth in April 2020),” Blashill said. “I know how much work goes into it, how much passion is involved. For it to just end on a drop of a dime is just crushing for everybody involved.
“It’s a great tournament and a great opportunity to showcase for the upcoming NHL draft. There’s tons of scouts out there that all the sudden don’t get to have those looks that they depend on to a large degree. Everybody is equal, we’re all going to adjust. I understand perspective. There are worse things in the world, I get that for sure. But when you’re talking about dreams of young people, it’s crushing. I think life is about experiences. They don’t get to have that experience. I feel terrible for them.”
– – Quotes via MLive Link – –