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from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

At every game at the world junior hockey championship — like any hockey game in an NHL city’s arena — the cameras show fans on the big over-ice screen, trying to generate enthusiasm, during stoppages in play.

But here in Rogers Place, where crowd sizes were sometimes better measured in the hundreds rather than the thousands — the 18,500-seat arena seems cavernous — it was often the same fans, over and over again.

And with massive drapes cutting off upper levels, even games involving Canada couldn’t sell out the lower bowl.

The lack of interest in the world junior hockey championship — once the jewel of TSN’s hockey coverage and a cash-cow for Hockey Canada — was almost painful to witness.

There are no shortage of reasons why. This after all is summer, and the world juniors — and hockey itself — is a winter sport. This is Edmonton, where the summers are short, the weather was perfect and folks would rather be outside at the Fringe Festival rather than inside a cold rink. There’s also the overpriced tickets, more than $100 a game.

But there’s another reason, one that has cast a long shadow: Hockey Canada’s mishandling of an alleged sex-assault case involving its 2018 world junior team in London, Ont. Then came revelations of allegations of similar behaviour by its 2003 team in Halifax.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

I think its mostly the weather and the cost.

While I do find the recent conduct of team Canada management to be repulsive, and the terrible conduct of past players to be deplorable, I would not take that out on the current players. 

I find the World Juniors tough to rally around anyway, except to see NHL prospect players in action which is VERY GOOD…

There is just so much hockey following your own NHL team, its’ hard to have the bandwidth to follow this at times.

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 08/19/22 at 04:24 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew

I get your point, but this is HOCKEY being played in CANADA, and they couldn’t get people in the rink, even when the home team was playing. When is the last time that happened, even in a WJC?

I hope Hockey Canada is sufficiently shamed by all this to do a real, actual, comprehensive investigation, and that the NHL takes notice.

Posted by Steeb on 08/19/22 at 08:33 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

The people I saw talking about it cited the ticket prices as the reason they weren’t going. I don’t know how they compared to other past tournaments… That would be interesting.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/19/22 at 08:38 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Its very hard to fathom. My life situation is different now, but man I used to jump on anything held at Compuware….errrr USA hockey arena.

I was in-arena for the goal at 1:48 in this video, which is datsyukian as hell:


Posted by ilovehomers on 08/19/22 at 08:55 PM ET


Poor attendance at the WJC is not uncommon when they host it in large Canadian cities with NHL teams, it does best when it’s in mid size places with strong major junior programs.  And it is hella expensive.  When it was shared by Montreal and Toronto a few years ago if you wanted tickets in advance you had to buy a pair to every single game hosted in that city to get any at all and they were not cheap.  It was a layout of a couple of grand minimum.

Posted by dwgs on 08/20/22 at 07:12 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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