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CHL Calls Off Canada-Russia Junior Series

Photo by Andrea Cardin

CHL Calls Off Canada-Russia Junior Series

The Canadian Hockey League has announced that it will no longer be hosting the CHL Canada-Russia Series as originally scheduled for 2022. This news is solely due to Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, and not COVID related.

The past two runnings of the Canada-Russia Series were called off due to the ongoing spread of the virus.

“The Canadian Hockey League strongly condemns the recent actions by Russia, involving military force in Ukraine,” the CHL wrote in a statement released late on Wednesday. “We encourage a peaceful resolution to the conflict. In addition to supporting the measures announced by the International Ice Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada in barring Russia and Belarus from international competition, the Canadian Hockey League today announced the cancellation of the 2022 Canada-Russia Series.”

A long-standing annual tournament between three CHL teams made up of the top players from its Western, Quebec and Ontario junior leagues, the Canada-Russia Series typically features six games, with Russia facing off twice against each CHL all-star club in advance of the holiday season. This event is typically aired live on Sportsnet and serves as some pre-tournament work for the annual World Juniors.

The WHL, which also released a joint statement condemning the actions of Russia, says it will look to offer support to its international players, and all those affected by the worldly matters happening overseas.

“The WHL is in communication with member Clubs to provide support to all WHL players and ensure the well-being of WHL players hailing from European nations directly impacted by the war in Ukraine,” the WHL wrote in its statement. “WHL players from the countries impacted have our full support as they continue to pursue their hockey goals and represent their respective WHL Clubs and communities, regardless of their country of origin.”

Last week, the IIHF announced it would not allow Russia and Belarus to participate internationally, while also stripping Russia of the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship. Hockey Canada then followed that announcement up with a similar ban of its own. EA Sports is currently in the process of removing Russian teams from its current NHL 22 video game.

The CHL has also discussed the future selection of Russian and Belarusian players at upcoming CHL Import Drafts. That topic is still up for debate amongst CHL member clubs.

 

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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