The World Cup of Hockey is just around the corner – as if the NHL schedule wasn’t hectic enough, they’ve added this in. Some players will compete in this tournament then their respective clubs’ pre-season then the entire regular season, and many of these players will compete in the Stanley Cup finals (which in theory could add another 28 games) or in regular Worlds.
How is this tournament different to Worlds? Worlds occurs every year and coincides with the Stanley Cup so many of the best players are not available for their country however this takes place in the off-season. The world cup has only taken place twice previously, but following 2016, there are plans for it to take place every four years. The Olympics and Worlds are organised by the International Ice Hockey Federation whereas this tournament is organised by the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the NHL (with the majority of players being drawn from this league). This tournament also features two “all-star” teams; Team North America for U23s and Team Europe for players from smaller countries than the Big Six.