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Coronavirus: Alberta athletes react to Team Canada’s decision to not attend Tokyo Games – Global News

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The Canadian Olympic Committee announced Sunday that it would not send athletes to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

While it’s devastating for Canadians who poured their hearts in to four years or more of training, the common sentiment seems to be it’s the right decision.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Canada refuses to send athletes to Tokyo Olympics unless Games postponed

“It’s kind of a hard pill to swallow that you’re not going to be going,” said Kindred Paul, a Devon, Alta. native who plays for Canada’s water polo team.

“We all know that this is the most responsible thing to be doing and it’s the right choice.”

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“I want to thank the COC and CPC for taking some of that pressure off,” said three-time olympian Angela Whyte.

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“I know for myself personally, and perhaps other athletes, it’s really hard to reconcile both being an athlete but then also being a responsible citizen.”

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Canada’s Annamay Pierse looks at her time after the women’s 200-metre breaststroke swim final Wednesday, October 6, 2010.

Canada’s Annamay Pierse looks at her time after the women’s 200-metre breaststroke swim final Wednesday, October 6, 2010.


Ryan Remiorz, The Canadian Press

Annamay Oldershaw (Née Pierse) represented Canada at the 2008 Olympics; dengue fever from a mosquito bite at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India sidelined her and she didn’t end up qualifying for the 2012 Games in London.

But she put the work in and knows just how hard these athletes work in a quadrennial and how devastating it is to have it taken away.

Now she’s been through two Olympic cycles in a different role. She’s married to Mark Oldershaw, a canoeist who was preparing for his fourth games.

Canada’s Mark Oldershaw paddles during the men’s canoe single 1000m final during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016.

Canada’s Mark Oldershaw paddles during the men’s canoe single 1000m final during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016.


AP Photo/Darron Cummings

They have two little girls: four-year-old Josephine and Margaret, who is two. The family spends much of the winter apart while Mark trains in Florida.

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“I was home with the girls, doing everything I could to keep our family here,” said Oldershaw. “Running and keeping the house, and working and making sure that the girls were fed and happy and getting through their daily things while Mark was away training.

“It’s a really hard sacrifice on both sides. Me being with the girls, alone, and Mark being away and not seeing his family everyday.”

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Oldershaw though, said she would do it all over again.

Annamay and Mark Oldershaw’s daughters.

Annamay and Mark Oldershaw’s daughters.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Could North Dakota be an NHL location if 2019-20 season resumes? – Sportsnet.ca

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Let’s preface this with the fact that, at this time, we’re all just guessing at return-to-play timelines — but the NHL and NHLPA are beginning to spitball scenarios as to where remaining 2019-20 regular-season/playoff games could be held.

One location that’s been mentioned: North Dakota.

Several sites would be necessary, but Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., makes sense. Host of the 2005 World Junior Championships, the 2016 World Under-18s and the NCAA’s Fighting Hawks, it is an impressive facility that is definitely more suitable than many other available non-NHL options in the United States.

Obviously, nothing is imminent. Hotel availability in Grand Forks would be a challenge. We also don’t know about travel scenarios, necessary logistics, or if the state itself would be willing to host such an event. But the area makes sense because of the arena, the likelihood of games being played without fans and North Dakota’s relatively low population density (only Montana, Wyoming and Alaska have fewer people per square mile).

It is expected that the NHL and NHLPA will discuss other locales this week. It’s never wrong to explore your options, regardless of what eventually happens.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported Friday that the NBA was considering putting all of its playoff games in Las Vegas. The Mirror reported Sunday there is a “tentative agreement” for the Premier League to return in June, with games played behind closed doors.

The league and players must agree on any return-to-play scenarios. The players are very concerned about the potential of 35 per cent escrow on future paycheques, and whether or not the NHL will consider allowing that to be paid over multiple years. (CBA discussions are believed to be taking place.)

Now, however, there is nothing but time to work on these issues.

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Rookie Watch: Rangers' Fox best in Metropolitan Division – NHL.com

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The play of several high-profile rookies, including forwards Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Kaapo Kakko of the New York Rangers, the No. 1 and No. 2 picks of the 2019 NHL Draft, respectively, is one of the major storylines of the 2019-20 season. Each Monday, NHL.com will examine topics related to this season’s class in the Rookie Watch.

With the NHL pausing the 2019-20 regular season March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, we continue our look at the top NHL rookies in each division. This week, the top six in the Metropolitan Division (player ranking on Dec. 3 in parentheses after team):

1. Adam Fox, D, New York Rangers (2): He’s third among rookie defensemen with 42 points (eight goals, 34 assists), first with 57 takeaways and plus-22 and tied for third with 92 blocked shots while averaging 18:54 in ice time in 70 games. Fox needs three more takeaways to pass John Carlson (60 in 2010-11) of the Washington Capitals for most in a season by an NHL rookie defenseman since the League began tracking the statistic in 2005-06. The 22-year-old ranks sixth in Rangers history in points by rookie defensemen behind Brian Leetch (85), Reijo Ruotsalainen (56), Ron Greschner (45), James Patrick (44) and Mike McEwen (43).

“I knew his strengths were going to be able to be influential at this level,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “I didn’t know to what degree, but I knew he was going to be a good player at this level, he was going to be a smart player who was going to generate some offense and get us out of our end. When you watched him in college you just knew this kid had that special ability that was going to translate.”

Video: NYR@MTL: Fox nets wrister through screen in front

2. Martin Necas, F, Carolina Hurricanes (4): The 21-year-old right-handed shot leads Metropolitan Division rookies with 16 goals and 11 even-strength goals in 64 games. Necas ranks seventh among all rookies with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) while averaging 14:10 in ice time. The Hurricanes control 51.9 of all shots attempted at even strength with Necas on the ice, first among rookie forwards in the division with at least 10 games played.

“I know when I first came over here at 16 (from Russia) it was so hard for me,” Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov said. “The game was so much faster and more physical. I think last year helped him so much to get ready for the NHL. As far as his skill, he’s so fast. When he gets the puck, you expect he’s going to do something good with it and have a good moment.”

Video: CAR@TOR: Necas roofs backhander home from the slot

3. Elvis Merzlikins, G, Columbus Blue Jackets (NR): The 25-year-old is tied for second among goalies with five shutouts (Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights; Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins). He’s a big reason the Blue Jackets are tied with the Hurricanes for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Merzlikins is 13-9-8 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 33 games.

“Merzlikins played a lot of games by the way of the injury to Joonas Korpisalo and was lightning in a bottle for them on a team that is still in contention,” NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes said. “Especially considering the fact that Korpisalo was selected to the All-Star Game this year (but didn’t play because of injury). Merzlikins has taken the League by storm.”

Video: NYR@CBJ: Merzlikins slides across to stone Zibanejad

4. John Marino, D, Pittsburgh Penguins (5): Marino ranks third among division rookies with 26 points (six goals, 20 assists), 77 blocked shots and 37 takeaways while averaging 20:15 in ice time in 56 games. The 22-year-old had seven points (one goal, six assists) in a six-game point streak (Nov. 16-27), the longest among rookies this season.

“Marino (6-foot-1, 181 pounds) is big and strong, he can really skate, defends well, has a good stick, and he is brave,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “He’s willing to take hits to make plays. He can hang onto the puck, take a hit and make a subtle pass, a four-foot pass that helps us get out of our end clean with possession.”

5. Mackenzie Blackwood, G, New Jersey Devils (NR): Blackwood leads rookie goalies in wins (22), starts (43), saves (1,328) and shots against (1,452). He is 22-14-8 with a 2.77 GAA, .915 save percentage and three shutouts in 47 games. The 23-year-old was 8-2-2 with a 2.28 GAA and .936 save percentage in his past 12 games prior to the NHL pause March 12.

6. Jack Hughes, F, New Jersey Devils (1): The No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Hughes ranks first among division forwards in shots on goal (123) and average ice time (15:52) and is third among division rookies with four power-play goals. The 18-year-old, who has been asked to do a lot in his first NHL season in a top-six role, has drawn 16 penalties and ranks second among division rookies with 42 takeaways.

[RELATED: Top Atlantic Rookies | Top Central Rookies | Top Pacific Rookies]

Head to Head comparison

Hughes and Kakko each have spent much of the season learning what it takes to experience NHL success and though it may have taken longer than many have expected, there’s no doubt the future looks bright for each player. The Devils (average age, 25.7) and Rangers (average age, 26.0) are the two youngest teams in the NHL.

Kaapo Kakko, F, New York Rangers

Games: 66

G-A-Pts: 10-13-23

Shots on goal: 109

Average ice time: 14:16

Telling stat: Tied with Fox for fifth among rookies with 13 power-play points. 

Jack Hughes, F, New Jersey Devils

Games: 61

G-A-Pts: 7-14-21

Shots on goal: 123

Average ice time: 15:52

Telling stat: Ranks fourth among NHL rookies in face-offs taken (462) and sixth in face-off wins (167), leading all first-year players with 38 wins on the power play.

Morreale’s Calder Trophy frontrunners

1. Cale Makar, D, Colorado Avalanche: Leads rookies in points per game (0.88) with at least five games played, and all rookie defensemen in goals (12), power-play goals (four) and even-strength goals (eight). 

2. Quinn Hughes, D, Vancouver Canucks: First among rookies with 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) and 25 power-play points (three goals, 22 assists) in 68 games.

3. Dominik Kubalik, F, Chicago Blackhawks: First among rookies with 30 goals, 38 even-strength points and 157 shots on goal and third with 46 points in 68 games.

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Short Shifts Greiss offers food, supplies to people affected by coronavirus – NHL.com

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Thomas Greiss wants to do whatever he can to help people affected by the coronavirus.

The New York Islanders goalie offered to share food, order supplies or help anyone suffering during the pandemic in a post on Instagram on Saturday.

Instagram from @thomasgreiss1: More information

“Please don’t go to sleep with an empty stomach or worry about doing without,” Greiss said in the post. “Don’t be afraid or embarrassed. Just send me a private message. We might not have it, but (we) will be more than happy to share whatever food or supplies we have.” 

Greiss’ good deed came after fellow Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov led his teammates in donating 3,000 N95 masks to Northwell Health system on Long Island that were delivered Thursday

“We are all in this together,” Greiss continued in the post. “Be kind to one another. This is temporary and [we’ll] get through this together.”

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