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Lightning Round: Men’s and Women’s World Juniors coming back in the summer, according to IIHF

Can the United States defend their title in the Men’s WJC?

Canada v United States: Gold Medal Game - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 05: Henry Thrun #3 of the United States holds a championship sign after defeating Canada during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game at Rogers Place on January 5, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada.
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Well are all likely aware that the IIHF Men’s U20 and Women’s U18 World Junior Championship tournaments were cancelled this past December due to COVID-19. After some work behind the scenes, those two tournaments are going to be played this summer.

According to the IIHF in a statement on Thursday, the Women’s WJC will take place “in June in the north of the USA.” The tournament was initially to be played in Sweden, but they have agreed to host it in 2023 instead. The Men’s WJC, that was initially scheduled in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, will take place “in the middle of August in Alberta,” according to the statement.

Programs like USA Hockey and Hockey Canada have a lot more funding for hockey, so it’s easier for them to fund and host a tournament with all the risks of it not having fans and any revenue, hence why Sweden isn’t trying again this year.

For those wondering, the Men’s WJC will start fresh in the summer, meaning none of the results from the group stages in December will carry over. Teams will also be able to change their rosters for both tournaments depending on availability and injuries.

Team USA beat Canada to win gold last summer in the Men’s WJC bubble in Edmonton. The Women’s WJC was cancelled last year and not restarted. It is happening this year in part due to the outcry for the IIHF and the national programs to give equal effort in replaying their tournaments. My next question is why the women don’t have a U20 tournament?

Here is a great profile by the AHL on Daniel Walcott of the Syracuse Crunch. In it, they talk about Walcott’s aspirations to play meaningfully in the NHL, beyond just the one game he’s had. He is also working hard to be an inspiration to young Black hockey fans who inevitably have to deal with racist taunts, like he has throughout his career as he describes.

Here is Geo’s Lightning Retro Profile on a name I haven’t heard in a long time: Simon Gagne! [Raw Charge]

“Before we even get to the draft though, Gagne was tangentially involved in a big Lightning trade. The Philadelphia Flyers signed Chris Gratton as a Group II free agent, which entitled the Lightning to the Flyers next four first round picks. Except the two teams had made an agreement before hand to trade back those picks for Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis. The first of the four picks was used in the first round, 22nd overall by the Flyers in 1998 to select Simon Gagne.”

The Lightning have set up a watch party in Amalie Arena for the Feb 26th Stadium Series a couple states over in Nashville.

Speaking of the Predators, their head coach, John Hynes, was fined $25,000 for telling off a referee. [On the Forecheck]

“The NHL unceremoniously announced that the Nashville Predators Head Coach had been fined $25,000 for “inappropriate behavior” at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals. No other information was released. Hockey fans combed the archives for footage and the best anyone could come up with was this”

Anything interesting in the window?