2016 World Cup of Hockey Preview

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International hockey is getting bigger and bigger every single year as fans want to see the best players in the world face-off.

In international hockey, countries put together what are essentially all-star teams to prove who the best in the world is in any given year.

International tournaments are for the ultimate bragging rights as every nation that plays hockey wants to be known as the best.

The business of international hockey has only gotten bigger as the Olympic tournament has become one of the biggest parts of the Winter Olympic program.

The World Championship continues to be the biggest tournament in Europe and is getting bigger in North America.

Meanwhile, the World Junior tournament continues to be the biggest annual tournament in Canada.

These international tournaments are getting bigger but for the biggest professional league in the world, international hockey does little.

The NHL has nothing to do with international hockey and in fact, they have constantly had issues with the IIHF.

In the World Juniors, the NHL gets rewards from seeing their future prospects create a name for themselves but little else.

In the World Championship, the best NHL players don’t even go because it is right in the heart of the NHL playoffs.

The Olympics are the only time when NHL players get to see the international stage but the IOC gives little to the NHL for lending their players.

They get no rights to use highlights from the Olympics while having to foot the bill for insurance and travel to get to the next Olympic city.

Those conditions have been a major issue and a point of contention between the NHL, IOC, and IIHF leading up to the Sochi Olympics.

They remain a major issue approaching the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018, it is so much of an issue that the NHL is seriously considering not going to the Olympics in two years.

If they don’t go NHL players will have little to no international hockey to play and the best players in the world won’t get to see international hockey at least until 2022.hockey-sidebar

That was until the NHL decided to revive the World Cup of Hockey for 2016 and bring the best players in the world to the international stage.

The World Cup, originally known as the Canada Cup, was last played in 2004 when the league was looking for a way to feature their players on the international stage, much like they are now.

The 2016 version of the World Cup will feature the top players in the league giving them an international tournament to showcase their talents.

More than that though the NHL put together an international tournament that could help grow their game.

The league continues to get bigger and now might be the perfect time for them to showcase their best talent together on the same ice.

It gives the NHL control over the entire tournament and allows them to sell jersey rights, sponsorship rights, and TV rights for a brand new aspect of the league.

The NHL is hoping that this tournament can become a regular thing and that they can extend it much further than the last time they tried.

The environment might be perfect for the tournament right now and the NHL might reap the rewards for that.

For the league, this is a massive opportunity especially with the current environment in place in international hockey.

With a success in this tournament, the league has their own piece of the international market and they no longer need the IIHF or IOC to showcase their best talent.

Instead, they can do it all themselves with the World Cup, but only if their first one goes off with all of the excitement that international hockey provides.

Comments
One Response to “2016 World Cup of Hockey Preview”
  1. habsforum says:

    Good stuff. It’s not the Stanley Cup playoffs in terms of intensity. But hockey is hockey. Hoping for a Canada USA final

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