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Rick Westhead

TSN Senior Correspondent

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“(On) the 23rd (of December), when we took the decision, 62 games were cancelled by the NHL,” Tardif said on the latest episode of The Ray & Dregs Podcast. “So that’s why we organized a meeting with the medical community and they said we cannot organize those tournaments in January.”

With the women’s U18s, originally scheduled to take place in Sweden, being cancelled instead of postponed, it opens the door for other hockey federations to step in and make a proposal to host. 

On Monday, USA Hockey released a statement asking the IIHF to reschedule the women’s U18s. In response, Tardif calls on USA Hockey to replicate what Hockey Canada did in the wake of the 2021 Women’s Worlds being cancelled in April in Nova Scotia before being rescheduled to August in Calgary. 

“I saw a declaration statement by USA Hockey to inquire and try and change the decision of council,” said Tardif. "I said okay, I challenge you USA Hockey because the job Hockey Canada did to move the tournament in August, now it is time for USA Hockey to do it. I’m not just satisfied with a letter, I want act. 

"If they’re coming with a proposition, I’m talking about June because it’s not possible to do in April. April, March we’ve got 20 tournaments, in May that’s our [men’s] World Championship so it can only be in June. If they’re coming, I’m sure I can convince the council with the new facts and new proposal to change our minds. Us, we’re going to do the same thing with the five other tournaments, we’re going to try and to find a solution if COVID (is) excepted."

COVID-19 has been an issue so far at the 2022 World Junior Championship, with the United States forfeiting Tuesday’s game against Switzerland due to two players testing positive. 

The IIHF decided that no teams will be relegated this year due to COVID-19 and next year’s tournament in Novosibirsk and Omsk, Russia will feature 11 teams instead of the regular 10.