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Six bids received for 2012 world juniors, but only three for 2010

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CALGARY - Six bids were received from cities hoping to play host to the 2012 world junior hockey championship, but only three will vie for the 2010 event, Hockey Canada announced Friday.

Halifax, Saskatoon/Regina and Winnipeg all filed letters of intent by a deadline Friday to bid for both 2010 and 2012, while Toronto, Calgary/Edmonton and London/Windsor confirmed they would bid only for 2012.

None of the six is a first-time bidder for the popular Christmas-week event that draws the world's best under-20 players.

Formal bids for both tournaments must be submitted by April 1. Cities that make the shortlist for each event will be asked to make presentations later in the spring.

Winning bids for both 2010 and 2012 are to be announced before the end of July, said Hockey Canada chief operating officer Scott Smith.

The 2009 world juniors will be in Ottawa, while Vancouver was host city in 2006. Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 in overtime to win the gold medal at the 2008 tournament in the Czech Republic.

Canada usually holds the tournament every third year, but lack of interest from other countries moved the International Ice Hockey Federation to award Canada the right to host the 2010 tournament in May.

The short time frame led to only three bids for 2010, an unusually low number.

The tournament is a big money generator for Hockey Canada. After Vancouver guaranteed a $5.2-million profit and delivered nearly $9 million, Ottawa promised $12.5 million to Hockey Canada.

However, Smith said the ability to make money is not the only criteria for a winning bid and the site with the largest arena doesn't always win.

He said bids are judged on how well they guarantee to look after the teams, whether they have the capacity to put on such a big show and also the "best business plan."

The three bidders for 2010 have all played host to the world juniors before - Saskatoon in 1991, Winnipeg in 1999 and Halifax in 2003.

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