Hockey Canada cancels 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup due to COVID-19

Team Canada poses for a team picture following the Hlinka Gretzky Cup gold-medal game. (Codie McLachlan/CP)

Hockey Canada has cancelled the 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament was scheduled to take place from Aug. 3-8 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta.

“The health and safety of players, staff, officials, fans, family, volunteers and the general public is of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada, and although this was a difficult decision to make, we believe it is in the best interest of everyone involved given the uncertainty at this time,“ a statement attributed to Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney and president and COO Scott Smith says.

“Hockey Canada is grateful for the continued support of our event partners, including the National Hockey League (NHL), Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), the Red Deer Rebels, Hockey Alberta, the Czech Ice Hockey Association and the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation, as well as the Government of Alberta, the cities of Edmonton and Red Deer, Edmonton Events and Tourism Red Deer. We look forward to returning to the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and will continue to work with our partners to ensure the event will be a success in Alberta in 2022.”

The 2020 edition of the tournament would have been the second time Edmonton and Red Deer hosted after a 2018 agreement with the Czech Republic and Slovakia Ice Hockey Federations.

The event will return to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2021 and Alberta will host in 2022.

Since 1991, the top under-18 players from various countries have competed in the tournament and it is viewed as one of the first showcases for players eligible for the following year’s NHL Draft.

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