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Ice hockey's World Junior Championship to be held in Edmonton bubble – ESPN

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The IIHF announced that the 2021 World Junior Championship will be held without spectators and in a single-venue “bubble” format in Edmonton, Alberta, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The premier international men’s hockey event for players under 20 is typically held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 annually and was due to take place in both Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. A new schedule for the tournament will be revealed at a later date.

The 2021 World Juniors will be played in its entirety at Rogers Place, the regular home arena of the Edmonton Oilers and current hub for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL has reported no positive tests for the novel coronavirus over the entirety of its postseason, which began Aug. 1.

“This is a tough decision to have to take, but ultimately we did not have a choice,” said IIHF president Rene Fasel in a statement. “The health and safety of players, officials and fans is our top priority. We were impressed with the presentation from the local organizing committee outlining how a potential ‘bubble’ scenario would operate within Edmonton and we are confident that we can follow the NHL’s great example in creating a safe environment for teams to compete.”

Additionally, the IIHF announced that the 2022 World Junior Championship will return to Alberta in the hopes of having fans in the stands. The tournament has been a significant revenue generator for the IIHF and host nations, especially when the event is held in Canada. By returning in 2022, the IIHF hopes to mitigate some of the expected losses from operating a bubble and not allowing fans into the building at this year’s event.

“A tremendous amount of work has been put into the planning of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, and we appreciate the IIHF’s consideration of our hosting proposal for the event. Hockey Canada believes it will be able to host a safe and successful event for all participants and the community at large this year by following strict safety protocols set forth by the appropriate health authorities,” said Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney in a statement.

As a result, Gothenburg, Sweden, which was due to host the World Juniors in 2022, switched with Canada’s next scheduled host year, 2024.

The 2021 World Junior Championship is due to include teams from Canada, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Austria and the United States. The IIHF announced that no teams will be relegated from or promoted to the top division this season.

Earlier Thursday, the IIHF announced the cancellation of all other men’s U20 World Championship events in lower divisions, the 2021 Women’s World Under-18 Championship, along with all other women’s U18 events in lower divisions. Qualifiers for the women’s Olympic hockey tournament, originally scheduled for December in Iceland, have been postponed, with no replacement date selected yet. According to the IIHF, a bubble format would not have been financially feasible for these events.

The IIHF also clarified that its spring events, including the 2021 Men’s World Championship, 2021 Women’s World Championship and 2021 Men’s Under-18 World Championship, remain unaffected at this time. All three of those events were canceled last spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Naylor: David Braley symbolized the past 30 years of the CFL – TSN

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How to sum up David Braley’s meaning to the Canadian Football League?

Braley, the Ontario-based businessman and former Senator who passed away Monday at the age of 79, was at various times the owner of three teams in a nine-team league, including the Toronto Argonauts in whom he held a secret ownership position at the same time he owned the BC Lions.

He served as the CFL’s chairman of the board and took on the commissioner’s role in 2003 after he led the charge to oust Michael Lysko in 2002.

And until recently, when poor health interfered with his ability to participate in the business of the CFL, he was a powerful presence among league governors, so much so that every commissioner had to be aware of where Braley stood on key issues and be prepared to deal with being on the opposite side.

It became a common refrain among people within the league that there would be no Canadian Football League without Braley. And yet, he was both loved and loathed by those within it. Some considered him the league’s biggest benefactor, while others considered him a ruthless profiteer.

Braley grew up in Hamilton, Ont., rooting for the Tiger-Cats. He had played football in high school and at McMaster University, and was a Tiger-Cat season ticket holder before, during and after his ownership of the team, which went from 1989 until he sold the team in 1992 over his opposition to the CFL’s plan to expand to the U.S.

He re-entered the CFL officially as the savior of the Lions in late 1996, one of three CFL franchises insolvent by the end of that season. Braley claimed a federal cabinet minister had warned him that the CBC would bail as a TV partner if the league couldn’t field a Vancouver franchise the next season, so he stepped up.

When the Toronto Argonauts went bankrupt in 2003 under the ownership of Sherwood Schwartz, Braley was front and centre in the search for new owners, trying to broker a deal with Toronto businessmen David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski.

The pair balked at the losses they’d be inheriting with the Argonauts. So Braley offered to be their partner, an arrangement that was known only by then-commissioner Tom Wright and select others before it was revealed in a 2009 Globe and Mail story.

The league subsequently passed bylaws requiring internal disclosure of all financial arrangements between teams. Braley eventually took over full ownership of the Argos in 2010, then sold the team to Bell and Larry Tanenbaum in 2016.

In its darkest hours, the CFL could always count on Braley, or so it seemed. He was there when the Lions and Argos needed new ownership, but also at various times over the past three decades when teams found themselves short on cash.

It’s believed he loaned money to every team in the CFL at least once, except for the Edmonton Eskimos. That includes to the Tiger-Cats during the years after he sold them to a non-profit group when he would continue to quietly write cheques to help the team make payroll. Braley’s name may not have been on the franchise, but he remained its primary financial backer.

That kind of financial influence in such a small league granted him enormous power, and Braley was never shy about trying to wield his influence over the direction of the league.

He also appeared to be rewarded with a disproportionate number of occasions to host the Grey Cup, which, in most circumstances, is a surefire money-maker. The Braley-owned Lions or Argos hosted the game five times over a 10-year period from 2005 to 2014.

Braley had created his wealth from scratch, taking a loan to purchase an industrial distributing company from a former neighbour, then shifting its focus into becoming a global auto parts manufacturing giant.

He was a well-known for his frugality as his wealth, a pattern demonstrated when he purchased the Tiger-Cats from an ailing Harold Ballard for $500,000, financed with proceeds from the team’s five-year sponsorship agreement with Player’s Tobacco.

That frugality was legendary in the CFL. Despite his wealth, Braley was known to be reluctant to spend on what he considered unnecessary frills for his teams and the league.

His views on the business of the CFL were rooted in traditional approaches to marketing and selling tickets, and he privately railed against the league putting every game on television, favouring blackouts because he believed it would mean better business at the turnstiles.

He had waxed about selling the Lions for at least a decade, engaging with different groups of potential owners but always deciding either the timing or the group itself and what it was willing to pay for the team wasn’t right.

That seemed to do the franchise no favours as he continued to hang on as both his own health and that of his franchise was slipping.

Though the belief in Vancouver is that any Lions business turnaround has to start with new ownership, Braley’s ownership has been viewed as a safety net for the franchise during the pandemic, given his willingness to financially stabilize the franchise.

He was believed to be among the owners who were willing to play a shortened 2020 season, even without government support.

Braley in so many ways symbolized the past 30 years of the CFL: rooted in tradition, dependent on philanthropy and run by a powerful few.

There will never be another like him.

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Edmonton Oilers dressing room icon Joey Moss dies

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Gretzky’s call has been difficult the last two years with Alzheimer’s and the complications involving Down syndrome at this stage of Moss’ life and especially this year with his hip surgery and the isolations involving the hospital and the facility relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19, however, was not a factor in his death.

“Janet & I are saddened to learn about the passing of Joey Moss. Not only was Joey a fixture in the Edmonton dressing room, he was someone I truly considered a friend. We will miss you Joey and you will always live on through our memories. Our thoughts are with Joey’s loved ones,” Gretzky said in a statement.

“On behalf of all the players who had the honour to get to know him, we are so saddened to hear the news of Joey’s passing. We were all lucky enough to be part of his life for a lot of years. His love for life always brought a smile to anyone who met him. Whether it was a coffee before practice or a big hug after a great win or a tough loss, he would put life in perspective. He will be missed but not forgotten, Once an Oiler always an Oiler. RIP Joe.”

There was almost certainly never a member of a sports franchise custodial staff so loved by a community or as famous as Joey Moss.

There are a lot of much less famous members of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame than Moss, who was inducted in 2015.

Stafford, whenever asked about Joey Moss, always made the point:

“He’s not a locker room attendant to anyone who knows him and works with him. He’s part of the team. In a lot of ways he’s the face of the Oilers.”

Source: – Edmonton Sun

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Longtime Oilers locker room attendant Joey Moss dies at 57 – Sportsnet.ca

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EDMONTON — Joey Moss, a longtime Edmonton Oilers locker room attendant, died Monday at the age of 57.

Moss was born in 1963 with Down Syndrome, the 12th of 13 children to Lloyd and Sophie Moss.

He became the Oilers’ locker-room attendant in 1984 when superstar Wayne Gretzky was dating his older sister, Vikki. Moss joined the Edmonton Football Team in 1986 and held roles with both organizations for over 30 years.

He worked with the CFL club from the opening of training camp in June until mid-August, at which time he headed over to the Oilers locker-room for the NHL season _ capturing the hearts of Edmonton sports fans along the way, particularly with his enthusiastic participation in the national anthem before the start of every hockey game.

Moss helped the training staff with such tasks as filling water bottles and equipment duties, but became more than an attendant over the years by providing inspiration to everyone in the locker-room.

Moss was awarded the NHL Alumni Association’s “Seventh Man Award” in 2003, for those “whose behind-the-scenes efforts make a difference in the lives of others.”

In October 2008, Moss was honoured with a mural in Edmonton for his service with both clubs. In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Moss also inspired the Joey Moss Cup, a tournament held at the end of Oilers’ training camp.

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