The World Cup of Hockey has been pencilled in for September

Would You Rather: The World Cup or the Olympics? (It Can’t Be Both?)

Reports have the World Cup of Hockey pencilled in for Sept. 1–Oct. 1, 2016, with games primarily played in Toronto.

The World Cup of Hockey appears to ready for its close-up, again. The off-and-on tournament – last played in 2004 – was created in 1996 to follow the once Olympic-equal Canada Cup and is set to return in 2016, according to multiple reports.

While Sportsnet reported in June that the World Cup would be hosted primarily in Toronto – pending final details between the NHL and the NHLPA – a new report from the Czech Republic’s Hokej.cz had the tourney pencilled in for September 1 to October 1, 2016, dates that were nearly confirmed by NHLPA exec Donald Fehr at an IIHF meeting this week in Spain.

The World Cup would be held before the start of the 2016-17 season, a full year and a bit before the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The World Cup would feature the globe’s top six hockey countries – Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic – and perhaps more.

“We’ve been working with the NHL office and hopefully we’ll be able to announce all the details,” said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, who hinted the proposed dates would be “the most likely” option. “And when we’re ready to announce something, we will. But it’s obviously something we’ve been talking about a lot.”

The World Cup might be a comb-over option for the National Hockey League, with the league’s Olympic status is up in the air for 2018.

The debate continues as to whether NHL players should be allowed to participate in the Games, despite its massive cultural and national appeal. With the Olympics taking place in February – in the middle of the NHL season – the league has been forced to take a two-week hiatus to allow its selected athletes to participate.

“In 2016 and then every two years afterwards, the World Cup of Hockey will be the showcase event on the hockey calendar,” writes CKNW’s Dave Sheldon, “bringing the best hockey players from the World’s elite hockey countries together for a tourney that will allow the IIHF and more specifically the NHL and the NHL Player’s Association, to run the show.”

However, as pointed out by Yahoo‘s Greg Wyshynski, the World Cup may have added a new opponent in the Russian-based KHL. Only the NHL and NHLPA have been linked to the potential tournament so far, meaning the status of other leagues around the globe – and their participation in the World Cup – is unknown.

“While a vast majority of Russia’s best players are in the NHL, there are enough in the KHL where it’ll feel incomplete without their participation – let alone without the KHL’s promotion and endorsement of the event,” writes Wyshynski.

“The World Cup would take place in the NHL’s preseason but at the start of the KHL’s regular season, which began on Sept. 3 this year. Would the KHL just play on in the shadow of this massive tournament, while players like Ilya Kovalchuk are on loan to the World Cup team?”

Still, it appears the World Cup is already a done deal, an inevitable anti-Olympics set to alleviate the shoulders of NHL owners – who don’t want to have a ‘John Tavares’ on their hands – while partially satisfying superfans who crave the international showdown.

“Mark me down as someone who would be pleased if NHL players no longer went to the Olympics, and instead played in a proper World Cup of Hockey,” wrote Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair on Tuesday. “This is an idea whose time has come, both economically and strategically – and, don’t look now, it might actually contribute to a healing of labour relations, as has been baseball’s experience with the World Baseball Classic.”

The NHL has suffered through four lockouts since 1992, with that year’s strike lasting 10 days. But the 2005 lockout cancelled the entire NHL season.

NHLers were first permitted to play in the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Since then, Canada was won three gold medals (2002, 2010, 2014) in five appearances.

Canada has won both gold and silver at the World Cup of Hockey, beating Finland in 2004 after losing to the United States in 1996.

Just Posted

Chinese Culture to light up 2019 Victoria Day Parade

Groups hopes Greater Victorians ‘view the culture, embrace the friendship’

Struggling Victoria adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Royal and McPherson Society pleads its case to Victoria council

‘Dark days’ at Royal, user groups’ weekend priorities make scheduling other entertainment challenging

Uplands Park champion to earn provincial award

B.C. Community Award for Margaret Lidkea coincides with Sunday’s volunteer celebration

Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Andrew Berry is charged with second-degree murder in deaths of daughters Chloe (6) and Aubrey (4)

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read