In today’s links, wondering if Ben Chiarot is the long-sought partner for Shea Weber, the Habs feel the love out west, and Max Pacioretty is on pace for a career year.
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Thousands of tickets still available for world junior hockey tournament in Edmonton – CBC Sports
Odd summer timing and an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada could be the reason thousands of tickets to the world junior championship are still available on the eve of the tournament, says an Edmonton professor.
Prof. Dan Mason, who teaches in the faculty of kinesiology, sport, and recreation at the University of Alberta, said when Canada hosts, there are usually so many fans who want to see the home team take the ice that they are willing to buy Hockey Canada’s packaged games that include teams that are not Canadian.
“So Latvia vs. Slovakia, for example, those games will be sold out as well because in order to get the tickets to watch Canada play, you have to buy a package that includes some of the other games,” he said on Friday.
“The fact that there are still Team Canada tickets available, that tells you the demand is much lower than it usually is for this kind of event.”
WATCH l World junior tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy:
The tournament runs from Aug. 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
The initial 2022 championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., was called off Dec. 29 after just four days because of rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials, which forced game forfeitures.
The 10-country tournament will be minus Russia, barred from participating by the International Ice Hockey Federation because of that country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Around 1,500 tickets are still available for purchase on Ticketmaster to the first game between Czech Republic and Slovakia on Tuesday. About 1,300 tickets are available for the next day when Canada takes on Latvia. About 1,500 seats for the final game are also available with hundreds of other tickets to watch the 11-day tournament.
This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake … or do something summer-related.— Edmonton professor Dan Mason on poor ticket sales for an August world juniors
Mason said the timing of the games could be why interest is so low. The tournament typically runs over the Christmas holidays.
“Over the past 30 years or so, TSN has built the world juniors into this holiday event that people partake in,” he said.
“I watch it with my family over the [Christmas] break though so it’s kind of become part of our holiday tradition.
“This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake, go to the mountains or do something summer-related. I don’t think we’re willing to give up those plans to watch hockey.”
Many people could also be waiting for a former judge on the Supreme Court of Canada to begin independently reviewing Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change of leadership.
The review comes after members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a gala event, and after Hockey Canada reached a settlement.
“I think there’s people who weren’t sure if they would go or not, and maybe deciding not to go because of that,” Mason said.
The CEO of Explore Edmonton, which promotes tourism in the Alberta capital, said in an email the marketing organization paused its promotion of the games in response to the allegations.
“As the host city for the upcoming tournament, we continue to have discussions with Hockey Canada officials about their plans to address the need for change,” said Traci Bednard.
Mason said inflation and less disposable income could be other factors working against the tournament.
“Canada may be more focused on that player development piece than trying to sort of make money off of a tournament being held in the summer,” he said.
Nets owner Tsai backs coach, GM amid reported Durant standoff – theScore
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has pledged his support of the coaching staff and front office after Kevin Durant reportedly demanded that the team trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks
Tsai took to Twitter on Monday, saying, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”
Durant’s ultimatum is apparently a result of his lack of faith in the team’s direction, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The 33-year-old is firm in his stance, Charania adds.
The former MVP requested a trade at the end of June following a disappointing season that ended in a first-round exit. Little was known at the time about his reasons for the decision.
The Nets have reportedly had discussions with nearly every team in the league in hopes of getting a historic package of players and draft picks in return for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly proposed a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and talked about a deal with the Boston Celtics that would include star Jaylen Brown.
The Raptors, Celtics, and Miami Heat are seen as the most likely trade destinations for Durant, sources told Charania.
The Nets aim to take “every last asset” from their trade partner in any deal for Durant, according to Charania.
Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard, has been at the helm of the Nets for two seasons. It is his first job in professional coaching. Meanwhile, Marks has held the position of general manager since 2016 after being an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.
Watch live for free: Leylah Fernandez vs. Storm Sanders at National Bank Open – Sportsnet.ca
Update: This stream has ended.
Canadian Leylah Fernandez begins her quest for her first National Bank Open title against qualifier Storm Sanders of Australia, under the lights in Toronto.
Fernandez, still only 19, is returning to action for the first time since suffering a fracture in her foot during the quarterfinals of the French Open on May 31.
The Laval native is the top-ranked Canadian on the WTA Tour after a headline-making run to the U.S. Open final last year.
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