• By: OLM Staff

Canadian winter sports may be delayed or cancelled by Covid-19 again

Winter Sports Iced in Canada during Covid-19 Pandemic

The National Hockey League is playing games in empty stadiums. The world figure skating championships scheduled to be in Canada in March were canceled. Even the women’s world hockey championships were canceled. It has been a tough year for Canadian winter sports, and many are wondering if things will be much better heading into 2021.

Gambling sites are betting on it, both literally and figuratively. At Wetten.com Canada has a number of great online betting sites that give customers the ability to place wagers on their favorite sporting event, even those in the United States. However, it is the NHL and other winter sports within Canada that are kings, and these sports are suffering mightily under the Covid-19 epidemic. It is leaving customers with limited opportunities to bet on their favorite sports.

Trying to Return to Normal

The NHL has done all it can to try to return to normalcy. The league returned to the ice in July, choosing Edmonton and Montréal as their two hub cities as they created a makeshift playoff scenario that is now approaching the final two teams competing for the Stanley Cup. The NHL entry draft, which usually occurs in June, was moved to October, already creating the reality that the 2020-21 NHL season will be delayed until sometime in late November or early December. Things are clearly not that close to getting back to normal.

The NBA also took to the court, choosing to continue the 2019-20 season in three hub cities in the Florida area. The defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors battled to the Eastern Conference semifinals but were ousted by the Boston Celtics. This gave Canadian fans an opportunity to root for their team, but were forced to do so from 3000-plus miles away.

In March, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) canceled the women’s world hockey championships. That meant that no champion would be crowned for 2020, and there is still some doubt whether there will be a world championships in 2021.

The same fate met the world figure skating championships, which were also scheduled for March in Montréal. That event was canceled, meaning that competitors will not take to the ice for the championship until 2021.

What Does This Winter Have Instore?

While there has been the opportunity for sports fans to enjoy some of their favorite events, the reality is that the 2020-21 seasons are likely to be greatly affected as well. The NBA finals from this past season will likely not conclude until mid-October. The Stanley Cup Champion will not be crowned until late September or early October.

What that means is that players are not going to be hyped to return to the court or ice in time to start on what would have been the regularly scheduled dates for this season. Both leagues are going to see dramatic delays, with the NBA likely not beginning action again until sometime around Christmas. Minor hockey leagues have set a tentative start for the first week in December, meaning that the NHL could begin around Thanksgiving.

The problem is that no one is sure how these events will be hosted. In the United States, NFL and college football games are being played before sparse crowds. MLB is still playing before empty stadiums, and there are no plans to change that come playoff time.

With concerns that Covid-19 may spur a second wave this winter, many Canadian winter events could find themselves freezed out this year again. That will not only make for a difficult winter for sports fans across the country, but could create another tough year for online betting sites operating within the country.