According to reports, the NHL and the IIHF are in the process of finalizing the details of reviving the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.
Earlier this summer, Sportsnet reported that the tournament will consist of eight national teams and be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Another report yesterday from a Czech hockey website indicated the World Cup will be played from from September 15 to October 1, just before the start of the 2016-17 NHL season. It lists Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland as the confirmed teams.
Like the Olympics, the arrangement and dates allow for NHL players to participate in the tournament. A rebirth of the World Cup could signal an end of the NHL’s participation in the Winter Olympics.
IIHF president Rene Fasel will be traveling to Toronto next month to meet with the NHL and NHLPA to discuss any remaining concerns, particularly its potential interference with training camps and league schedules in Europe. A final agreement and announcement is expected in late-October.
The World Cup of Hockey has previously taken place two times – in 1996 (won by the USA) and 2004 (won by Canada). The tournament’s predecessor was the Canada Cup, played every few years from 1976 to 1991.
The revival of the World Cup of Hockey has been rumoured in recent years due to the scheduling headaches and lack of financial benefit that the NHL gets from participating in the Olympics. The World Cup of Hockey does not interrupt the NHL season and the league directly profits from it.
Feature Image: s.yume via Flickr