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Hockey

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How COVID-19 is Still Impacting Sports

April 22, 2021
Source: Michael Dwyer/AP
Source: Michael Dwyer/AP

🏒Hockey: For the second straight year, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship (WWC) is canceled. The premier annual event for women’s hockey was to be held in Halifax starting May 6th. It’s going to take us a while to get over this one.

🏈Football: The CFL announced that they’re pushing back the start of the regular season from June to August, and reducing the number of games from 18 to 14. And if watching the Grey Cup in an outdoor stadium in November wasn’t already cold enough, it’s been to December 12th. We’ll gladly watch from home, thanks.

🥇Olympics: The Olympics, as far as we know, are still a go, but things look dicey. The torch relay, which sees the Olympic flame carried through a tour of Japan, had to be rerouted multiple times since starting on March 25th; and qualifying events for the host nation had to be moved out of Japan for the time being. Outlook: not so good.

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We The North

April 19, 2021
Source: Toronto Raptors/Twitter
Source: Toronto Raptors/Twitter

🏀NBA: After last night’s 112–106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Toronto Raptors jumped up to 10th in the Eastern Conference, making the postseason look possible. With just 14 games left to go, the injury-riddled Raps are in a play-in tournament spot...for now. 

🏒NHL: After dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, the Vancouver Canucks played their first game in almost four weeks last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And for a team that only restarted practicing less than a week ago, they more than held their own, winning 3–2 in overtime. Practice schmactice.

⚾️MLB: After losing three of their last four to the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays are rocking a 7-9 record. Unfortunately, that record isn’t likely to improve as they head into a two-game series against the league’s best Boston Red Sox tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. ET.

🎾Tennis: On a brighter note, Leylah Annie Fernandez filled big shoes in Bianca Andreescu’s absence, leading Team Canada to a win over Serbia and advance to tennis’ top international team tournament: the 2022 Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup (previously known as the Fed Cup) qualifiers

🏒NHL Trade Deadline is Today

April 12, 2021
Source: Toronto Maple Leafs/Twitter
Source: Toronto Maple Leafs/Twitter

NHL: It’s trade deadline day, which means teams have until 3 p.m. ET to make trades or be stuck with their current rosters until season’s end. The Toronto Maple Leafs were busy over the weekend, namely trading draft picks for Columbus Blue Jacket captain Nick Foligno, among other moves.

  • But all eyes will be on the only expected blockbuster trade today: current Buffalo Sabre and former NHL MVP, Taylor Hall. Follow all the day’s action with the NHL trade tracker.

Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks are still trying to get back on the ice. After 25 positive COVID-19 cases amongst players and staff, the team was supposed to return to practice yesterday, but had it pushed to today (at the earliest) as they deal with yet another case. They’re expected to play their first game in three weeks on Friday. Tough luck.

Jack Campbell: The Leafs’ goalie made NHL history over the weekend as the first goalie to win 11 straight games to start the season. Considering Campbell started the season backing up Frederik Andersen, this story is something special. 

and feelings are mixed.

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The GIST's Quick Hits - CA (April 8, 2021)

April 08, 2021
Source: Canadian Press
Source: Canadian Press

The details: Earlier this week, a U.S. State Department official suggested that the U.S. may boycott the Beijing Olympics in response to China’s severe human rights violations, and Canadian politicians have also suggested a similar idea.

  • The Biden administration suggested that they would speak with allies about a joint approach, in what would be the first American-led Olympics boycott since they organized the 65-nation boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in the USSR.
  • In response, China’s government warned against a boycott (obviously), citing a “robust Chinese response” if the U.S. went ahead with it.

The decision: While the governments toss around rumors, the National Olympic Committees will make the final call, and so far, both the US and Canadian Olympic Committees have rejected the idea. Both committees have acknowledged that a boycott would ineffectively use athletes as pawns.

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The GIST's Quick Hits - CA (April 5, 2021)

April 05, 2021
Source: Peter Staples/Miami Open
Source: Peter Staples/Miami Open

🎾Tennis: Saturday’s Miami Open final against world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty didn’t go as Bianca Andreescu hoped. After losing the first set, Andreescu was forced to pull out of the match after rolling her ankle in the second set. Her tearful match retirement was a heartbreaker, but “runner-up” is a still solid title for a player returning from a year-long injury and rehab. 

🏉Rugby: Team Canada’s rugby women’s 7s team is ready to roll into Tokyo. After more than a year off the pitch, they won the Emirates Invitational 7s tournament on Saturday in Dubai — the first of the team’s two warm-up tournaments before the Summer Olympics. They’ll go for two in a row in Dubai this weekend. Ruck yeah!

🏒Hockey: The Vancouver Canucks’ COVID-19 list is growing by the hour. According to TSN, over 20 players and coaches have tested positive for the virus, most with the Brazilian variant. And while no one’s been hospitalized, a few players have required IV treatment.

On the other side of the country, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) delayed the start of the 2021 President Cup playoffs after five teams had players test positive for COVID-19. Scary.