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12-20-2012, 04:13 PM
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There is too much of a gap between the top teams like Canada, US, Russia, Sweden and the teams like Germany, Latvia, Norway etc. The Czechs, Slovaks and Finns, being small countries have good and bad years as is too be expected, but teams like Germany, Latvia etc rarely ever compete with anybody in these tournaments. I'm not sure it really benefits anybody to have more of these completely overmatched teams in the tournament. The big teams don't gain much from winning 7-0. The small teams don't gain much from being smashed 7-0.

The only realistic way that I could see the tournament expanding would be to have a preliminary round like they used to do in the Olympics. That way teams like Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Norway etc would have a chance to play against each other. As it is now those teams basically get crushed and their entire tournament comes down to a one game play off in the relegation round against the other crappy team. The preliminary round of course creates a whole bunch of other challenges regarding players release, scheduling conflicts etc. For that reason I don't see the benefits. It's better to just let the smaller countries play on a more competitive playing field in the next division.

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