Ice Hockey

NHL Announces World Cup; What Is It?

NHL Announces World Cup; What Is It?

This morning the NHL announced the long anticipated sort-of revival type thing for the Canada Cup/World Cup. Or I think that is the intention. I don’t really know because no one knows. Not even sure if the guys at the NHL office know. Formatting details are relatively sparse.

What I do know is that the NHL expects to pocket $100 million on the downside with an upside of closer to $150 million.

Basically this is what they plan to do in non-Olympic years, starting in 2016.

  • 8 team tournament every September: Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia, USA, Czech Republic, European All Stars, Team North American Young Stars
  • Round robin tournament that ends in a playoff bracket
  • Yes I said “Young Stars”
  • Three game final to determine the winner
  • I’m not kidding, “Young Stars” is real

By: Adam Pyde – @Adam_Pyde

There are four big issues that people seem to be up in arms about.

  1. That this is more hockey. Weird right? Well it comes down to making the NHL season even longer than it is, in a round-a-bout way. This is three extra weeks of wear and tear on the NHL’s top players. What I’d honestly love to see is this shortening the NHL season by about 2-3 weeks. Bring it down to 76 games, and cut exhibition in half. Players already seem to fight cases of burnout come March.
  2. That this is the NHL’s way of replacing the Olympics. This is what the primary motivation behind this is according to many people that know the big-wigs up top. Puke. Its pretty well known that the NHL hates the IIHF. So screw the World Championship I guess, but the Olympics is the greatest celebration of athleticism on earth. You cannot replace that. Especially not with a tournament that includes Team World and the Young Guns.
  3. Some people are bothered by the idea of the European All Star team, Ryder Cup team World style. I’m totally okay with this actually. Makes it more competitive and when players like Anze Kopitar and Marion Gaborik were asked earlier this season, they were on board as well. Mark Streit, not so much.
  4. The North American Young Guns Under-23 Team. This sucks for a bunch of reasons that I will get into in a separate post. Mainly though, the gimmicky nature of it combined with the NHL’s awkward push of all things gimmicky and awful. Like the out of touch parent buying clothes for himself/herself to feel young.

“Woah, look how super radical these purple and neon green uniforms are dude!”

It kinda sucks to job out Slovakia and Switzerland like that, but neither has the ability to put together a team of 23 solely NHL players. Team World looks pretty good though.

Vanek Kopitar Gaborik
Zuccarello Grabovksi Hossa
Boedker Nielsen Tatar
Raffl Girgensons Jurco
Hansen Eller
Chara Ehrhoff Andersen
Seidenberg Sekera Halak
Streit Josi Hiller
Viznovsky Marincin

All that said, I’d really rather just play a seven team tournament: Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Euro All Stars.

  • Cut the Young Guns.
  • Every team plays each other once for a total of 6 games in the round robin.
  • First place gets a quarter final bye, seed two through seven normally like you would for a playoff (2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5). Continue a one game playoff until the finals.
  • Then cap it with the best-of-three series for the trophy. This would make for a maximum of an eleven game tournament.

But I’m just a guy on the internet and not a stuffy old guy NHL owner/board member who likes to cry about “integrity of hockey” and then approves something that undermines the integrity of best-on-best international hockey.

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