Has anybody heard anything about the wch coming back this september? I remember hearing it somewhere and it got me really excited as it's basically the second best tournament in the world next to the olympics.
What does the future hold for World Cup of Hockey?
During the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turino, Italy, news broke that the NHL and NHLPA had no plans whatsoever to host a World Cup of Hockey in 2008.
''Frankly, I'm doubtful (holding a World Cup) is something we'll do,'' Ted Saskin, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said in an Olympic press conference with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and IIHF president Rene Fasel.
The World Cup, formerly the Canada Cup, was created to allow a true world championship where all the best players in the world are eligible to play. The need for the tournament became lessened once NHL players were cleared to play in the Olympic Games.
''Our sense is that every two years is frankly too much to be organizing these kinds of events in terms of the demands on the players,'' Saskin said.
The NHL, on the other hand, would be interested in reviving the tournament.
''Speaking for the clubs and the NHL, we would like to have another World Cup of Hockey tournament, we would like to make it a more regular event,'' said Daly. ''But obviously we need the players' participation and agreement on that point. So that's something we'll discuss as times goes on.''
At this stage it looks like the always on-again/off-again World Cup of Hockey is off. Again.
However speculation is that the NHL is unhappy with its' Olympic participation and that the NHL will pull out after the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
If that is the case, the World Cup of Hockey could make its return in 2012 or 2014.
Many believe that the World Cup of Hockey provides the best hockey tournament in the world.
"The Olympics are the ultimate stage, and are a bigger deal in Europe and around the globe. There is no competing with that," says World Cup of Hockey co-author Joe Pelletier.
"But the Olympics also face great limitations that hinder the actual hockey. The World Cup over comes many of these. A proper training camp allows teams to properly prepare and gel. The schedule isn't unreasonably condensed. Players are rested and the NHL season is not interrupted. These things make a huge difference in the quality of the product we as fans watch and buy."
Pelletier adds changes to the World Cup would need to be made, too.
"Most importantly, a commitment to this tournament would have to be made. Hold it every 4 years, not whenever you feel like it. Tournament history and lore need to be established outside of Canada, and the on again, off again nature of this tournament needs to stop.
"Also, we need to alternate hosts. Every year a different country should host. Or if that's not possible then alternate between Europe and North America. And we need to let more than 8 countries in."
Pelletier would like to see the tournament held later in September, coinciding with NHL training camps, but recognizes European leagues are already active at that point.
What is the likelihood of these changes?
"I think the World Cup of Hockey will be back. But these changes are unlikely. In the new world NHL, the NHL and NHLPA are business partners. The World Cup is a profitable enterprise, whereas the Olympics bring in no direct revenue. However is the World Cup profitable outside Canada? Can Europe attract the gate receipts with their smaller arenas? Can Europe attract TV dollars with the time zone problems? Will allowing other countries participate drive up costs? The NHL and NHLPA will bring back the World Cup as long as it is a money maker. Under the old format it already is. Under my proposed changes, it might not be."
ESPN.com- NHLPA not interested in continuing World Cup
The World Cup of Hockey, the neglected offspring of the old Canada Cup tournament, is in danger of going the way of the wooden hockey stick, leaving the Olympics as the premier best-on-best tournament in the sport.
The NHL Players' Association implied Friday that having the World Cup of Hockey, alternating with the Olympics every two years, is simply too much to ask of players, and they aren't interested -- at least for 2008. Full Story