Which international tournament is the most important?
Kind of interested in knowing which tournament people attach the most importance to. Obviously a lot of people think the World Championships aren't a big deal because they take place at the same time as the playoffs, so a lot of countries are missing some big names. Similarly, I've seen a few posters (mostly from the East side of the Atlantic) saying the World Cup isn't a big deal because it's an exhibition tournament staged by the NHL. So I guess that leaves the Olympics, but at the same time one has to consider the fact that the Olympics also take place during the NHL regular season, so the teams have far less prep time than they will for the World Cup.
So...which tournament is the most important? Which says the most about the calibre of a country's hockey program and players?
(BTW, I divided up the question by region because I thought it would be more interesting that way. I suspect I know how the majority of the votes will break down, but I'm still interested in seeing.)
The Olympics first and the World Cup second. I find it really tough to get excited about the World Chamionships since it happens every year and it's during the Stanley Cup playoffs, I never watch it or the World Juniors.