Ticket holders who travelled from outside Metro Vancouver for Saturday night’s Canucks-Maple Leafs game are disappointed the once-per-season matchup at Rogers Arena was postponed just hours before puck drop.
Dave Lewis and his wife flew down from Terrace for the contest, and also had tickets for the Canucks-Coyotes matchup on Sunday. Both games have been postponed by the NHL over COVID-19 concerns.
“It’s disappointing,” said Lewis, who spent money on flights and hotel nights for the weekend games.
“We understand lots of players are testing positive and it’s going though quite a few leagues right now, so we kind of knew it was coming, but just hoped we could hold on for Monday.”
Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said he understands the frustration.
“I know lot of people came from out of town for this game. I feel bad for those fans that made those arrangements,” said Rutherford. “We are disappointed, but safety comes first, safety of the players, safety of the fans. And I think this is the right decision.”
The Canucks said the games will be rescheduled and have asked fans to hold onto their tickets. But Lewis said he and his wife likely wouldn’t be able to return to Vancouver for the games later this season, and are hoping the team offers refunds.
“It’s pretty hard to get away,” Lewis said. “This was the first time my wife and I had left our son since he was born about two years ago, so this is a pretty important weekend for us. So that’s why it hurts a little bit more that we can’t go to the games.”
At this point, only the two weekend Canucks games have been postponed, but other home games have been reduced to 50 per cent capacity until the end of January. That means the team will have to decide which fans can attend those matches.
“No matter what the Canucks organization does right now, it’s going to be hard to please everyone,” said Tali Campbell, the general manager of the Coquitlam Express hockey team, who also holds tickets for a single Canucks game versus Ottawa in January.
Campbell expects Canucks season ticket holders will be prioritized and single-game ticket holders will lose their seats. While a plan has not yet been announced, Rutherford hinted at that on Saturday.
“I do believe the season ticket holders get priority and they will get the first opportunity to be able to use their tickets, and then from there they will move on,” said Rutherford.
That could nullify many single-game Canucks tickets that people planned to give as Christmas gifts.
“This was not a Christmas present, this was a ticket that I got,” said Campbell. “So I’m not in a position that a lot of other people are right now that are trying to rethink what their Christmas gifts are going to be for their spouse, for their kids.”
For the Lewis family, the two Canucks games were a gift to themselves. The new parents are trying to make the best of their weekend in Vancouver by spending time with friends.
“You know, we wanted to watch hockey, but we understand that can’t happen,” Lewis said. “It’s just one of the many things we had to deal with in the last couple years.”
Olympics-Canadian snowboarder Parrot eyes Beijing gold after cancer battle
Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot said on Friday that the mental toughness he gained during his battle with cancer carried over to the slopes where the slopestyle Pyeongchang silver medallist now hopes to go one better and win gold at the Beijing Olympics.
Parrot’s career was put on hold when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2018. Two months after being declared cancer free in mid-2019, Parrot won an X Games big air gold medal in his return to competition.
Showing no signs of rust, Parrot also won a World Cup gold later that year and started off 2020 with another big air gold at the X Games in Aspen.
“Every year I become better and better physically and mentally, and especially going through such a big challenge as cancer you get really more mentally tough,” Parrot told a virtual news conference.
“If you look back at my season right after my cancer … It was pretty much my best year ever.”
Parrot finished fifth in his Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games before a runner-up showing at Pyeongchang.
The 27-year-old Canadian pre-qualified for the slopestyle/big air team headed to Beijing based on his results from the 2020-21 winter season and is not shy about his intentions.
“Of course my goal is to go for the gold, that’s for sure,” said Parrot, whose cancer battle is chronicled in a documentary called “MAX – Life as a Gold Medal” that was released this week on his website.
“But I am really happy as well that if I don’t get the gold I won’t have any regrets because I did everything in my power over the past couple months and that was something important for me as well, just to not have any regrets.”
While there were some days during Parrot’s cancer battle where he wondered if he would ever return to the sport he loves, he said he never let those thoughts take over.
“When I had cancer it was ‘OK, I’m going to do treatments, I am going to do them as best as possible’ and even if I didn’t know if the treatments would work or not, in my mind cancer had no chance against me,” said Parrot.
“I had a lot of determination and motivation and the whole time I just wanted to get back to my passion as soon as possible. But never getting back to it was not really an option in my head.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
Canada's Denis Shapovalov is on to the fourth round of the Australian Open – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 21, 2022 7:28AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 21, 2022 6:40PM EST
MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has a spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.
He beat Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to set up a showdown with third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.
The Canadian has been pushed hard at Melbourne Park, averaging three hours 37 minutes of court time per win so far.
“I’ve gotten very familiar with the ice baths the last week,” Shapovalov said with a smile in an on-court interview. “We’ve become very good friends.”
At six foot 11 and 225 pounds, Opelka is an imposing force on the court. He had a 17-10 edge in aces on the 14th-seeded Shapovalov but made 46 unforced errors.
“Early on I actually found a rhythm on his serve,” Shapovalov said. “I was able to chip quite a lot back, so I was happy with that. I think I did a really good of just taking the chances today.
“Obviously it’s really tough to get the rhythm against a guy like that so I’m super happy.”
It was the first career meeting between Shapovalov and the 23rd-seeded American. Zverev, meanwhile, has a 4-2 edge in head-to-head matchups against the Canadian.
“Hopefully I can win,” Zverev said. “It’s going to be a great match.”
Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., previously reached the third round at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021. The 22-year-old’s best Grand Slam performance was a semifinal showing last year at Wimbledon.
Zverev defeated Maldova’s Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in third-round play.
“Radu is in great form right now … 1/8I’m 3/8 happy to be through in three sets,” Zverev said.
Ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was scheduled to play Britain’s Daniel Evans in third-round play Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.
Defense trade targets for the Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe's "soft" comment, and how many games should Petr Mrazek start the rest of the way? – MLHS Podcast Episode 38 – Maple Leafs Hot Stove
Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast).
Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled “Leafs Notebook.”
MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.
Olympics-Canadian snowboarder Parrot eyes Beijing gold after cancer battle
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