Jrs. coming to Ottawa

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:36 PM ET

Hockey Canada has called a media conference for this afternoon at Scotiabank Place to announce that Ottawa will host the 2009 IIHF world junior hockey championships.

A source has confirmed to the Ottawa Sun this morning that Ottawa has won the bid. The media conference includes Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada and David Branch, the commissioner of the Canadian Hockey League.

Ottawa has bid for the world juniors on three previous occasions, but has not been successful in landing the prestigious tournament until now. The 2009 tournament takes place from Dec. 26, 2008 through Jan. 5, 2009.

The Ottawa bid is headed by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa District Hockey Association. The Ottawa 67's, including owner Jeff Hunt, have also been involved in the effort. The Ottawa bid was competing against four others -- Montreal, Toronto, Saskatoon and a joint effort from Edmonton / Calgary.

The Montreal bid was viewed as a sentimental favourite, as the Montreal Canadiens attempted to land the world junior tournament as part of the centennial celebrations in 2009 of the storied franchise.

In Ottawa, the tournament would return to Ontario for the first time since Hamilton hosted it in 1986.

Canada has hosted the world juniors seven times: Vancouver (2006), Halifax (2003), Winnipeg (1999), Red Deer, Alta., (1996), Saskatoon (1991), Hamilton (1986) and Montreal (1978)..

Hunt told the Sun on Tuesday that he expected an announcement to be made within days.

"All I can say is that we put together the absolute best bid and best presentation we've ever done," said Hunt.

The Ottawa committee made its pitch to the selection committee in Calgary last month.


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