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Canucks’ star Vertanen benched after sex assault allegation

NEWS 1130 tweeted an Instagram account dedicated to sharing stories of sexual assault posted allegations from a woman who claims Virtanen sexually assaulted her in a Vancouver hotel in 2017.

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The Vancouver Canucks have put star Jake Virtanen on “leave” after allegations he sexually assaulted a woman in a hotel room came to light.

“Our organization does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claim as reported are being treated very seriously,” the Canucks said in a statement.

“We have engaged external expertise to assist in an independent investigation and we have placed [Virtanen] on leave as we await more information.”

Canucks’ tweet

NEWS 1130 tweeted an Instagram account dedicated to sharing stories of sexual assault posted allegations from a woman who claims Virtanen sexually assaulted her in a Vancouver hotel in 2017. 

Nicknamed “Shotgun Jake” by Canucks fans, right winger Virtanen, 24, was drafted by the Canucks sixth overall in the 2014 draft.

In 38 games this year he has five goals and no assists.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

News

NHL postpones another 8 games due to attendance restrictions

The league said all games will be rescheduled for a later date when restrictions can be eased or lifted.

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The National Hockey League announced Friday it has axed another eight games due to COVID-related Canadian attendance restrictions.

The league said all games will be rescheduled for a later date when restrictions can be eased or lifted.

Affected games include:

Monday, January 3
Minnesota @ Ottawa

Wednesday, January 5
New York Islanders @ Vancouver

Saturday, January 8
New York Islanders @ Edmonton

Tuesday, January 11
New York Islanders @ Calgary

Wednesday, January 12
Minnesota @ Edmonton

Friday, January 14
Vegas @ Edmonton

Saturday, January 15
Vegas @ Calgary

Sunday, January 16
Edmonton @ Winnipeg

As well, due to the New York Islanders three other road game postponements, the Islanders-Seattle game on Tuesday, January 4 in Seattle has been postponed.

The league has yet to establish make-up dates for the postponed games.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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News

World junior hockey tournament cancelled because of COVID

Remainder of IIHF world junior cancelled! Four out of 250 players test positive and they call it off? that’s criminal,” tweeted longtime Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones.

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The world junior hockey championship being held in Alberta have been cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) made the announcement early Wednesday afternoon.

The United States team, the winner of the last championship, was forced to forfeit a game Tuesday against Switzerland after two players tested positive for COVID-19.

Russia and Czechia also had to forfeit after they had a player each test positive.

The IIHF announced officials would have to wear masks during games until further notice.

“Remainder of IIHF world junior cancelled! Four out of 250 players test positive and they call it off? that’s criminal,” tweeted longtime Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones.

The teams had been living in COVID-19 bubbles since they arrived in Alberta for the start of the tournament on Boxing Day.

Games were being played in Red Deer and Edmonton.

But Bob McKenzie on TSN said: “The players were in hotels that were open to the public, it’s as simple as that.”

“Following a recommendation by the tournament COVID-19 Medical Group and the IIHF Medical Committee, the IIHF Council has decided that, due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will be cancelled to ensure the health and safety of all participants,” reads the IIHF website.

The decision comes following a positive case on a player on the Russian national team, which would have necessitated a forfeit of the Russia-Slovakia game scheduled for 29 December. The game is the third to be cancelled due to positive cases, following Switzerland-USA and Finland-Czechia, it said.

“In addition to ensuring the health and safety of participants, the Council has determined that with another forfeiture – the third forfeited game in two days – the sportive integrity of the event has been compromised, and the event must be cancelled,” said the website.

“Together with the teams, we came into this event with full confidence in the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the IIHF, the LOC, Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada,” said IIHF President Luc Tardif.

“The ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant forced us to readjust our protocols almost immediately upon arrival to attempt to stay ahead of any potential spread. This included daily testing and the team quarantine requirement when positive cases were confirmed.”

“We owed it to the participating teams to do our best to create the conditions necessary for this event to work. Unfortunately, this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.”

Hockey Canada President Scott Smith and CEO Tom Renney shared the following statement:

“Hockey Canada has worked tirelessly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure it would be equipped to host world-class, international events in a safe and healthy environment. Despite our best efforts, and continually adapting and strengthening protocols, we have unfortunately fallen short of our goal of completing the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship and handing out medals on Jan. 5 due to the challenges of the current COVID-19 landscape.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have always made the health and safety of event participants and the community at large a priority, and given the news that we have encountered positive cases within the World Juniors environment, we understand and support the decision to cancel the remainder of the event. Although we know this is the right decision, we sympathize with all participants who have earned the opportunity to represent their countries on the world stage and that will not be able to realize that dream in its entirety.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

COVID sidelines more NHL games

Make-up dates for these games will be announced at a later date.

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Due to COVID-related issues, the National Hockey League announced tomorrow’s Detroit Red Wings game in New York against the Islanders has been postponed.

As well, due to current attendance restrictions in certain Canadian cities, nine other games will be rescheduled to later dates when restrictions have been eased or lifted.

Games affected include:

Friday, December 31
Pittsburgh @ Ottawa
Winnipeg @ Calgary

Monday, January 3
Carolina @ Toronto

Tuesday, January 4
Washington @ Montreal

Thursday, January 6
Toronto @ Montreal

Saturday, January 8
Buffalo @ Montreal
Seattle @ Winnipeg

Monday, January 10
Columbus @ Montreal
Minnesota @ Winnipeg

Make-up dates for these games will be announced at a later date.

As well, the Boston-Montreal game on Wednesday, January 12 at Bell Centre will now be played at TD Garden in Boston, MA. A make-up date for the Montreal Canadiens’ home game against the Boston Bruins will be announced at a later date.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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