2016 World Cup of Hockey Report (Day 6)

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The World Cup of Hockey has officially finished their round robin as the first stage of the tournament is over.

As the playoffs approach the first stage has shown the potential of this tournament as long as it does move on.

It wasn’t all a success though as the NHL did struggle to get some kind of attention regarding the World Cup.

After all, the tournament began just as the NFL football season and NCAA football season began.

For the one market that the NHL has constantly concerned about the timing is not great as football dominates, especially at the start of the season.

The World Cup did struggle to get some recognition outside of the biggest hockey markets as it seemed like it started as an “Oh yeah, that’s going on now” type of tournament.

Not much was known about it or how quickly it truly came into focus. Just as it was beginning to gain some momentum the round robin was over and the playoffs are about to begin.

It wasn’t the absolute success that the NHL was hoping it was going to be in a lot of markets but overall it wasn’t a failure.

The markets that were expected to pay attention did, even if it was reluctantly at first, and most of the games were sell-outs.

That is a very important thing for the future as the NHL would like to make this a regular tournament much like it was supposed to be in the early 2000s.

What sunk that tournament back then was what sunk a lot of the future NHL plans, the lost season.

When the NHL went into a lockout all plans went on hold and the first to go was the World Cup because it simply wasn’t a priority for anyone.

The priority when the NHL returned was to repair the damage caused by losing the momentum they had created leading into the season.

They were trying to get back the fans they lost after a full season was thrown away.

It took some time but the damage was fixed and the NHL is stronger than it has ever been with a long-term labour deal in place.

The future of the World Cup might seem bright but once again there is an issue looming that could put the future of the tournament in jeopardy.hockey-sidebar

The long-term deal that the NHL and NHLPA signed in 2013 did not entirely guarantee the full 10-year labour peace that the deal is for.

It included an out for both sides at the halfway point of the CBA meaning that before the next World Cup either side could choose to renegotiate the contract.

The tournament is meant to be held every four years meaning that the next World Cup will be held in 2020.

The CBA’s halfway point is in January 2018 meaning that before the next World Cup either the NHL or NHLPA could decide to put another season at risk in order to get a better deal.

It is very unlikely that the owners will be willing to do that as they are making more than they have ever made.

The NHLPA might want a bigger piece of that money and could very well cancel the deal in order to negotiate some of the things that they gave up in 2013.

If that happens the hockey world will be on edge for another season as they await what might be another shortened or lost season.

If it is a complete loss the World Cup could be at risk for 2020 meaning that any momentum gained this year will be lost.

The NHL wants this to work and so does the NHLPA, after all, the money gained will be split between the two bodies.

It is an extra way to gain money and a way for the NHL players to participate in international play, especially if the NHL decides not to go to Pyeongchang in 2018.

There are a lot of people that want this to continue to grow and be a success but the future f the tournament is murky.

Along with the looming potential CBA issues, the NHL will need to decide if they want to keep North America and Europe as teams, most likely not, and where they will host the next tournament.

There is no doubt they would like to go to the USA but is there anywhere that can make it as successful as Toronto or another Canadian city.

There are a lot of questions to be answered but for now, the only important one is who will win the World Cup.

The favourites remain as Russia and Canada will face-off, although slightly earlier than most thought, while Sweden looks to surprise many and Europe looks to make their case for inclusion in the next version of the tournament.

All will be decided soon as the playoff are set to begin and some great hockey is ahead.


Day 6:
Russia 3-0 Finland
– The Finns came into the tournament on a great run through international hockey but this tournament ended that in a big way as the Russians helped them finish without a win while their lack of fight eliminated the North Americans

Czech Republic 4-3 USA
– The game meant nothing for either team as neither was set to make the playoffs regardless of the outcome but the Americans were looking to save face after a tough tournament but they couldn’t get that final win ending the tournament 0-3


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