NHL, NHLPA delay World Cup of Hockey by one year to February 2025

By Sportsnet Staff

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association are delaying the upcoming World Cup of Hockey tournament by one year to February 2025.

“Over the last year, the NHL and the NHLPA have been working on plans to conduct the next World Cup of Hockey, the premier international best-on-best hockey tournament, in February 2024,” the league and union said in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, in the current environment it is not feasible to hold the World Cup of Hockey at that time.

“We continue to plan for the next World Cup of Hockey, hopefully in February 2025.”

The most recent World Cup of Hockey was held in September 2016 in Toronto with Canada defeating Team Europe in the best-of-three final.

Planning for a new World Cup of Hockey has been going on for more than a year. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in the summer that the plan was to hold the eight-team tournament over a 17-day stretch in February of 2024, with games in both North America and Europe. The tournament will not feature Team North America and Team Europe like the previous edition did and a play-in tournament will be used to determine the two teams that would replace those entries

The plan was presented to the International Ice Hockey Federation in September.

“We still want to play one pool in Europe, a preliminary round pool in Europe and a preliminary round pool in North America and move the semifinals and the final to a different city in North America likely,” Daly said during the NHL European Player Media Tour in August. “I think that short list would universally encompass more traditional hockey markets.”

However, planning has proven difficult following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The IIHF has banned Russia and Belarus from all competitions and relocated any events hosted in those countries, but the NHL has allowed players born in those two countries to keep competing in the league.

But Daly said recently at the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings in New York that a some countries have said they would not participate in the World Cup of Hockey if Russians were invited.

By delaying the tournament, the NHL and NHLPA are also able to delay a decision about Russia’s participation.

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