While Team Todd will be competing at the 2020 Terence Tootoo Memorial (TTM) senior men’s hockey championship in Rankin Inlet from Nov. 26 to 29, the team won’t be there defending the B Division title it won at the 2019 event.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the TTM committee to make this year’s tourney a territorial event with all 10 teams competing in one division.

Brett Fotheringham, from left, Elias Voisey, Ray Mercer Jr. and Alfred Vosiey of Team Todd celebrate their 2019 Terence Tootoo Memorial B Division championship in Rankin Inlet this past year.
photo courtesy of Jason Todd

Team Todd captain Jason Todd also won’t be making the trip to Rankin this month for the TTM, due to his work commitment at the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake.

Todd said he’s not worried the switch to an A Division-only format this year due to Covid-19 will remain in effect during future years, due to the success of the B Division this past year.

He said he was told by TTM committee member Troy Aksalnik that it’s being done in one division this year to prevent having no event at all this year.

“No one knows what’s going to happen with this Covid, but Troy told me they’re also going to attempt to have the regular 2021 TTM this coming March,” said Todd.

“Troy told me there will definitely be a B Division at that event.”

Team Todd has already lost a handful of players from its championship squad which it had to replace.

Todd said it’s disappointing not to be able to defend the championship with the same squad that won it, but that’s the nature of the beast with senior men’s hockey.

He said if he’s not working at Meadowbank during the 2021 TTM, he will be in Rankin to lead his squad in defense of its B Division title, provided Covid doesn’t mess with the event yet again.

“It has been a little disappointing to win the B Championship and not have a proper chance to defend it, but that still might change.

“Troy told me that we’d definitely get the chance to defend it in March, provided, of course, the Covid situation allows it.

“He told me they’re going ahead with the 10 teams in one division this month so they don’t risk losing the interest of the people on teams from the other communities.

“I think, too, they have some money that they want to put back into the tournament and, just as importantly, back into the community by holding this month’s tournament for 2020.”

Todd said he’s confident Team Todd will still be strong enough to give their B Division title defense a good go.

He said he has a hard time imagining the TTM being played in front of an empty arena due to Covid, and he wasn’t that impressed with the NHL hockey being played that way.

“Honestly, I found it rather weird and rather boring.

“I really believe the crowd is part of the game and players try harder when they hear people cheering for them.

“As for us, I’m really hoping things go well with the next two planned TTM tournaments, and I wish all the guys on Team Todd the best of luck competing in the A Division of this month’s TTM.

“It absolutely sucks that I’m not playing. I want to come home big time.”

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Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News