Tourigny says NHL return is pivotal to return of junior hockey

Ottawa 67’s coach and vice president of hockey operations Andre Tourigny is a positive face for Canadian junior hockey these days.

From winning the Brian Kilrea Award as the CHL’s coach of the year in 2019-20 to taking over as head coach of Canada’s defending gold medal winning world junior squad, the junior world is his oyster.

The way he sees it, though, it’s the NHL that will dictate what happens next for the junior world.

“We will start to have some discussions once the NHL playoffs start,” Tourigny said in a telephone interview Thursday. “If everything goes well, it will be such a positive step. Every league is waiting for that to see what’s going to happen.”

The NHL is trying to put its own Band-Aid over the Covid-19 crisis, working towards crowning a Stanley Cup champion with a unique 24-team format, housed in Toronto and Edmonton. The preliminary round action — technically, not a playoff round – begins August 1.

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