The World Elite Ice Hockey Championship will begin Friday in Latvia. Due to the Coronavirus, there will be no fans in the stands, and due to the ongoing competition in the NHL, there will be no stars. The Finns will defend the title they won two years ago.

It wasn’t long since the crew weakened at the World Cup. The playoff phase started on Saturday only, on Saturday. Usually before the tournament at least the first round of competition for the Stanley Cup was held, so the chances of having stars were greater.

There are only 66 NHL hockey players in the 16 teams posted on Tuesday. In theory, that number may still change, because corrections in employment can be made by Thursday.

All the leading teams have been weakened and it is impossible to point out the candidates. Canada and the United States are matched by players from the lower leagues, and European teams have built their national teams on hockey players from domestic games and Russian KHL. In theory, surprising strangers should be a little easier.

Due to the pandemic, last year’s championships were canceled, and in 2021 only the competition will be held at the highest level. This means that no elite team will be left behind and that the same teams will play in next year’s World Cup, which will be held in Finland.

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Originally, Belarus was to be the co-host of the tournament. However, in January, due to security concerns related to the country’s political unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, this right was stripped. All matches will be held in Riga.

After Russia is excluded from the most important events by the World Anti-Doping Agency, its national team will compete under the name of the Russian Olympic Committee.

In the first part of the tournament, 16 teams were divided into two groups. The top four players will qualify for the quarter-finals and the competition will continue in the cup system.

The first matches will start on Friday at 15.15. In Group A, the Czechs will play against the Russians, and in Group B the Italians will play against Germany.

The Polish accent for the upcoming event is the presence of Matthias Blashta in the German national team, son of the former Polish coach, Jacek Buacha.

The White-and-Reds played in the elite for the last time in 2002. They are currently at the third level of the game.

Group A: Russian Olympic Committee, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Great Britain.

Group 2: Canada, Finland, USA, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Italy, Kazakhstan.

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