(Henderson) If a Hockey World Cup comes to fruition in the near future, it will not be a traditional international tournament like the Olympics.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association are still considering hosting a World Cup in February 2025, although the parties have scaled back what they thought they could do given the schedule and uncertainty over Russian players .
NHL executive vice president Bill Daly would not reveal the specific ideas being considered, other than to say it would not be a “typical” World Cup of eight national teams playing over a period of time. of 16 days.
“We are focusing on an alternative type of tournament that takes advantage of the unique international nature of our sport,” Daly explained Tuesday during the NHL/NHLPA players’ media tour. And so that’s the process that we’re currently working through with the Players’ Association to really design something that we can get into in February 2025.”
The initial hope was to hold the World Cup in 2024, but Russia’s war in Ukraine and objections from some federations to the participation of Russian players were among the problems that derailed that plan. The goal is still 2025, one year before the Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina, Italy.
Daly said preparations for the World Cup continue simultaneously with negotiations to send NHL players to the 2026 Olympics. The league and players agreed to participate in the latest extension of the collective bargaining agreement, but it is awaiting an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation.
NHL players have not been to the Olympic Games since 2014 in Sochi. While the plan was to compete in the Beijing Games in 2022, schedule disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the league’s withdrawal.
The same issues surrounding insurance and travel costs that kept NHL players from participating in the 2018 Games in PyeongChang remain. Daly said he would like to have clarity on the situation by early 2024.
“We’re hoping to have some sort of regular rotation scenario where there could be a World Cup in 2028, an Olympics in 2030, another World Cup in 2032 and again an Olympics in 2034,” Daly stressed.