Hockey Canada has cancelled all programs and national team camps through Sept. 1, but plans to hold “various programming and training sessions” virtually over the summer.
The programs and camps that will be moved to a virtual setting include:
• BFL Canada National Women’s Under-18 Team Summer Camp, presented by Sobeys (April 26 until 2021 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship)
• BFL Canada National Women’s Development Team Summer Camp, presented by Sobeys (May 3 until athletes return to university)
• Program of Excellence coach seminar (May 25-June 5)
• Program of Excellence goaltender development camp (June 9-12)
• Canada’s national under-17 development camp (July 19-25)
• Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp (July 27-31)
“It is certainly disappointing to come to this decision for our summer events this year, but it is the right decision as we keep the health and safety of our participants a priority,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada, in a statement. “There is level of camaraderie and learning that takes place in-person, but we have found a way to mitigate some of the impact and still share best-in-class experiences through virtual learning. The coaches and professionals in their field will continue to guide and lead our athletes so when we are able to return to hockey, they will be physically and mentally prepared and equipped to compete at the highest level.”
According to a statement, “topics for virtual sessions will include at-home strength and conditioning plans, mental performance plans and check-ins, nutrition, dry-land skills, skating simulations, team-building activities, short-term international competition preparation and meetings with coaching staffs.”
Hockey Canada says it will announce rosters and staff for upcoming national team programs in the coming weeks.
In a separate announcement on Wednesday, Hockey Canada laid out how some events on the 2020-21 calendar will impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, the remainder of the 2019-20 season — including national championships across Canada — was cancelled. Now, plans for the next editions of some of these events have been revealed.
• Prince Albert, Sask., which was set to host the 2020 Esso Cup, Canada’s U18 Women’s Club Championship, will retain its hosting rights for the 2021 Esso Cup. Lloydminster, Alta., will host the 2022 Esso Cup.
• Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., and Cape Breton, N.S., were awarded the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National U18 Club Championship, in 2020 and 2021, respectively, but Hockey Canada has worked with both communities and Members to re-assign future hosting. Cape Breton has been confirmed as the host in 2022, and Saint-Hyacinthe is being considered as the host in 2021 or 2023.
• The 2020 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, set to be played in Portage la Prairie, Man., will be hosted in Penticton, B.C., in May 2021. Estevan, Sask., will host Canada’s National Junior A Championship in 2022, with the potential for the event to return to Portage la Prairie in 2023.
• Niagara Falls, Ont., had been selected to host the 2020 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf this June, but instead will host the 2021 edition of the event.
“During these unprecedented times, Hockey Canada has had to make changes to its season schedule to prioritize the health and safety of all participants at our national events, impacting various host committees and communities across the country,” Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer of Hockey Canada, said in a statement. “We appreciate the support and dedication by our upcoming host committees to adjust our schedule for the next two hockey seasons, and we look forward to working with these communities to put on world-class events.”
Additionally, Hockey Canada has not made schedule changes for the following events yet, but the organization remains in contact with the relevant health authorities.
• 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Oct. 31-Nov. 7 in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I.
• 2020 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, Nov. 2-8 in Dawson Creek, B.C.
• 2020 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, Dec. 6-12 in Bridgewater, N.S.
• 2020 World Junior A Challenge, Dec. 13-20 in Cornwall, Ont.
• 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 26 to Jan 5 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta.