NHL and NHLPA scale back plans for 2024 World Cup of Hockey
The NHL and NHLPA announced Friday that they will not host the 2024 World Cup of Hockey as originally planned.
“Unfortunately in the current environment it is not feasible,” the NHL and players’ union said in a joint statement. “… We continue to plan for the next World Cup of Hockey, hopefully in February 2025.”
The NHL and NHLPA had been meeting for the past year and looking for ways to pause the NHL calendar and host the World Cup of Hockey in February 2024, with sources saying they plan to hold games in Europe and North America.
But the sides indicated they did not feel they had enough logistics sorted out to host the tournament in 2024. The sources said there are several key issues that made the schedule unworkable, including the IIHF’s major commercial partners expressing their concerns about holding the tournament in the NHL’s midseason, while the league had yet to secure the tournament’s North American broadcast rights.
Another topic was the possible involvement of Russian players as the war in Ukraine continues.
The IIHF has banned Russia from international events, but the NHL and NHLPA hoped they could find a solution, such as having Russian athletes compete under a neutral name or flag. However, some participating countries have said it was unsatisfactory and advocated that no Russian players participate.
The cancellation comes as a huge blow to players who have been clamoring for a top-of-the-line international tournament for the past few years. NHL players did not participate in the last two Olympics. The last time the World Cup of Hockey was held was in 2016.
The IIHF World Championships are held each spring, but do not have full participation as it overlaps with the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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