Hockey Canada announced the five finalist for the World Junior Championships in 2009. You have four big markets and Saskatoon in the running, while Quebec City and London were interested, but never committed. There are plenty in London who think that because of so many big markets, that it's unfair to display them over the "true" junior territories. I hate to day this, but all those cities still in the running have or will have junior teams in cities by 2009. Granted, Montreal doesn't have one anymore, but there are plenty in the vicinitiy.
Now, just looking at this-- there are many way for Saskatoon to get screwed in this whole ordeal. I mean, all of the other cities have big building with auxiliary building that are big enough to hold junior games. Plus, they'll have the big money accomodations to back up the supply/demand issue for people coming in. However, before jumping to conclusion, here's a little look at how I see it:
Toronto: It's the self-proclaimed hockey haven with all the major media outlets around the area and with some of the most interesting attractions for hockey fans to see it. It's a very interesting location and could be the best move for business in the whole scheme of things. Sadly, their OHL club gets lost in the fold of the Leafs.
Montreal: In 2009, the Habs will be celebrating their 100th season as a franchise. The Habs brass has stated they would want to have the NHL Draft, All Star Game, and WJC in the city to help along the celebration.
Saskatoon: It's not a big city, but they have a big heart for junior hockey. The Blades do great business in the city and are the talk of the town in the hockey months. It would be the best fit for a World Junior Tournament, but because of lack of big building, may get lost in the fold.
Ottawa: The Nation's Capital and has a great legacy of junior hockey with the greatest coach in junior hockey history, Brian Kilrea. With the emergence of the successful Senators, Ottawa would be a pretty decent choice, so long as the red tape doesn't block the way.
Calgary/Edmonton: Alberta is rich. Let's face it-- the oil is booming. That aside, Calgary is the home to Hockey Canada, which would cut down on travel time for those practicing at the facilities. Edmonton will be getting a WHL team in '07 and has a rich hockey history with the Oilers.
It'll be a very interesting decision to make for Hockey Canada. Personally, I would like it to be in Calgary/Edmonton-- mainly because the boys can come up and we can party all two weeks long in the Casa de Wazz. However, whatever the decision is, each city will put on a great show and will do Hockey Canada proud.