For the first time since 2004, the World Cup of Hockey will be making a comeback. On Wednesday, the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association announced the layout and schedule for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Regarding the date and location, the WCH will be held in Toronto, Canada from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 2016. All of the games throughout the tournament will be played at the Air Canada Centre which is usually home to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. In addition, all games will be broadcast on ESPN within the United States as well as on Sportsnet and TVA throughout Canada. Both Canadian networks are usual networks that hockey is broadcasted on in the Great White North. However, ESPN may be new to watch hockey for some U.S. fans. An NHL game has not been broadcast on ESPN since 2004 the last time there was a World Cup of Hockey, coincidently. Despite the 11 year hiatus of hockey game broadcasting, ESPN can still provide very good coverage of the sport when the time comes.
Formatting for the tournament is as follows according to NHL.com: eight teams separated into two groups. The top two teams in both groups will move on to the semifinals and then the teams who win in the semifinals will meet for a three game series in the final round. The tournament champion will be determined by the final, best-of-three series.
Who are in the two groups? Well here is the breakdown per NHL.com. Group A will feature Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team USA and Team Europe. The European team will be made up of players from the European countries that are not being represented within the tournament such as Germany, Slovakia, Latvia, etc. Group B will be made up of Team Russia, Team Finland, Team Sweden and Team North America. The North American team will feature players who will be 23 or younger as of the end of the tournament, Oct. 1, 2016.
Team general managers and coaches for each squad are being named within the next couple days and rosters for each team will be finalized by June 2016. Most team officials will be NHL coaches and general managers as well as other well-known staff from around the world.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey is sure to be a great tournament. Players from the NHL and leagues all around the world will be featured in the tournament as they vie for the World Cup Championship. Team Canada is currently the defending champion from 2004. Will they be able to repeat the feat again 11 years later or will another team dethrone them? Stay tuned to NHL.com for more coverage of the event as it gets ever so closer.
For a complete breakdown of Wednesday’s events click here.