Global Hockey Agenda
On the World Hockey Summit's Facebook page one of the discussions is about Establishing a Long-Term Global Events Agenda and they say that some of the things that will be discussed are: Exploring the possibilities to provide hockey with a long-term international event agenda for both national team and club events, further enhancing the IIHF-NHL cooperation for the growth the game
* Integrating the World Cup of Hockey into the international agenda and to consider a consistent rotation between the IIHF World Championship, the Olympics and the World Cup
* Addressing the need for an annual World Club Championship (Victoria Cup) between the Stanley Cup champion and the European champion
* Champions Hockey League – an opportunity for a re-launch
* For the best of the game – growing hockey worldwide
This is what I think: I would like to see the World Cup of Hockey played every 4 years but occuring during the same year as the Summer Olympics and could either precede or succeed the games allowing for prime television coverage and ratings. The World Cup should be a showcase of hockey talent at all levels while the Olympic Ice Hockey teams should switch back to players that are either amateurs or semi-pro (maybe a maximum age of 25-28). I would like to see the World Championship on a 2 year schedule in an odd year so that it will fall before the Olympics or before the World Cup.
I loved the Victoria Cup and was disappointed when it went out of use so quickly. The NHL should play the winner of the Champions Hockey League (which definitely needs started back up with proper financing) at the end of summer before the NHL season begins. Maybe arrange a best of 3 or 5 series where if finances allow it could switch from stadium to stadium, not US to Europe but have an alternating schedule where the NHL hosts one year and then the Champions League hosts the next.
One thing that we must make certain though is that in the establishment of these tournaments we do not schedule them so as to exceed the limits of the players. They also need to be purely volunteer based but we need to make it seem like a reward for the best hockey players to be playing in these tournaments.
As to the growth of the game, I believe that the entire hockey community(sponsors, teams, players) must work together to expand hockey into non-traditional areas and allow those people that don't have the privilege of seeing and playing the greatest game in the world to learn about and come to love hockey the way that we do.
What are your thoughts about this?
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