Cape Breton no longer hosting the 2022 Telus Cup; organizers still hopeful to host tournament soon


Almost three years ago, Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia was announced as the host of the 2021 Telus Cup.

Now in 2022, the national tournament has yet to hit the ice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were given the option to host again in 2022 and we took that option,” said Walter Rutherford, the president of the Sydney Mitsubishi Rush — the team chosen to host the tournament.

However, the pandemic has once again played havoc on those plans.

Hockey Canada announced this week the tournament will now be held in Alberta — not in Cape Breton.

“There’s just so much risk here,” said Rutherford. “Are we going to host a national championship and not have fans? Are we going to host and only have 50 per cent fans?”

Although Nova Scotia did just drop most COVID-19 restrictions, the changes came too late to save the tournament.

A disappointing decision for both players and parents of the host team.

“We were looking forward to bringing teams from across Canada to the Cape Breton area,” said parent Angie MacDonald-Fraser. “It would have been great for the economy and awesome for the boys.”

The Sydney Mitsubishi Rush’s will still play in the tournament as the host team, giving players experience on a national stage.

“It’s a huge event. It’s covered by TSN and it will be great to see my son and the rest of the team take part in a national championship,” said MacDonald-Fraser.

Tournament organizers in Nova Scotia say Hockey Canada has told them the Telus Cup will be held in Membership in the coming years. An official date has yet to be set.

“From my perspective, with all of the things that were going on, it’s a win/win,” said Rutherford. “This team will represent Cape Breton in the Telus Cup this year, and this community is going to host the Telus Cup in the near future.”

But the cancellation means lost ice time and revenue for local businesses.

“The rink side of it, we’d be pretty much full the whole week, but the spinoffs for the hotels, restaurants, and all of the tourism aspects, it’s huge,” said Paul Carroll, the manager of the Membertou Sport and Wellness Center in Membership.

“It’s probably in the millions of dollars for the economy here in CBRM.”

Organizers say, for now, they will turn their attention to cheering on the local boys when the puck drops in May.

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