Wrapping My Head Around the World Cup of Hockey

I don't blame the NHL and NHLPA for putting together the World Cup of Hockey. The Olympic hockey tournament is the very best and why wouldn't the NHL and NHLPA want to cash in on such an event? The World Cup of Hockey is theirs, unsanctioned by the IIHF, with NHL rules and NHL refs. I get it...

What I'm struggling with is the under-23 Team North America. This is the team that will star Conner McDavid and will compete against Team Canada. I love best-on-best tournaments when I can get 100% behind Canada as we take on other nations. And the two countries I love to beat most are Russia and the United States.

McDavid and other under-23 Canadian hockey stars will be playing alongside the Americans on that team. This does two things that bother me:

  1. It dilutes Team Canada, removing some players that I'd like to see play for my country
  2. It forces me to cheer on the United States if I'm going to root for Team North America

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this tournament, I just wish they hadn't fiddled with the basic premise by introducing the under-23 Team North America. It alone has made me care much, much less about winning this tournament than an Olympic gold medal.


This is not to say I won't be watching. As an NHL fan, there will be general curiosity, and I'll likely tune in. I just won't really care if we don't win it all, and I'd never say that about the Olympics.

What do you think about the World Cup of Hockey?

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Comments (25 - click here to join in!)

Rob J

Not to mention the 'World Team' of miscellaneous players from Denmark, etc. Shouldn't the sport have grown enough to have at least 8 actual countries participate? If it's the World team vs. Under-23s in the final, it'll be a mockery. What anthem will play? But now that the players and owners are 50-50 partners expect more of these made-up tournaments along with the plethora of outdoor games. Expect to see advertising on the jerseys as well, along with unceasing commercials on the host network.

March 2, 2016 @ 11:46 AM


Its going to be a joke. Judging by the logo for the event the NHL revealed that thing of trophy is back too. Bring back the Canada Cup!

March 2, 2016 @ 12:12 PM


Couldn't agree more. By adding that U-23 team it becomes gimmicky - much like the all-star game which I've totally given up on.

I don't know if Crosby has been selected but I'm betting he'll pass on this joke. He always passes on the all-star game joke so I expect him to do the same here.

March 2, 2016 @ 12:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


No way Crosby passes on this. In fact, none of the stars will pass, because it's big bucks for the NHLPA.

March 2, 2016 @ 12:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's awful. I'm adding the logo to this entry.

March 2, 2016 @ 1:11 PM


Trust me, some minor 'injury' will come up and he'll need to rest before the 2016-17 season. Besides, Babcock won't care, his boy is Toews.

March 2, 2016 @ 1:15 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Unless it's a real injury, I'm certain Crosby will play. With the game here, he's literally the poster boy for the tourney.

March 2, 2016 @ 1:19 PM

Al The Royal Pain

WTF is with that logo? I had to look long and hard before I saw anything that resembled something hockey-related. It looks like a tall Kleenex box sitting on a mirror.

March 2, 2016 @ 1:32 PM


Rumor has it that the World Cup of hockey trophy is just a flower vase taken from a Las Vegas hotel lobby just like in that one Las Vegas tourism commercial. LOL
Do you have any sources that can confirm that rumor?

March 2, 2016 @ 1:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I understand it's all Frank Gehry's fault.

March 2, 2016 @ 2:00 PM


It's nothing but a money generator. Just a joke. I won't be watching

March 2, 2016 @ 2:24 PM


@ Al
"Kleenex box sitting on a mirror". Brilliant! But now I can't un-see it as that.

March 2, 2016 @ 2:26 PM


I don't understand why they kept that thing.
Have you seen the new jerseys and logos Adida's has made for the tournament yet? I think they are trying to make the ugliest looking sports event possible.

March 2, 2016 @ 5:36 PM


I guess what they tried to do here was to showcase a world junior team comprised of North American players going up against the big boys. I agree with your argument, Mike, in that these "juniors" in age only should have been part of the other teams. If Canada is to win, Connor McDavid should have been part of that team.

March 2, 2016 @ 9:48 PM


So, in theory, Canada could face North America in the finals?

Who are we supposed to cheer for?

That's dumb.

March 3, 2016 @ 11:52 AM


Gimmicky yes..
But I look forward to see if Team North America does against Canada, USA, Russia and Sweden

March 3, 2016 @ 11:57 AM

The Voice of Reason

The tournament should have offered a world team of players that are "over 30" that would not have been picked to represent their respective countries. I enjoy the fact that hockey is not afraid to change the status quo.
With that said, what will be the national anthem for "team North America"?

March 3, 2016 @ 4:13 PM

Al The Royal Pain

@The Voice of Reason

I would actually love to see that!

March 3, 2016 @ 4:37 PM


@The Voice of Reason

Th OBVIOUS anthem if team North America wins would be a NEW rendition of late Kate Smith -

March 3, 2016 @ 6:47 PM

Rob J

And right on the cue, the made-up controversy about who was shunned, etc....oops, 7 more can still be added. I'd be a very surly sports-talk host

March 3, 2016 @ 6:47 PM


I'm with many people here and see this tournament as a joke.

What's worse was this entire week on sports radio and TV was dedicated to "who will be the first 16 selected?" followed by "how will this 16 fair?" and as always the unnecessary "who got snubbed?" argument. My goodness...

A question I have started to wonder. Is hockey popular by itself, or does it need the media to make it popular? I feel if all major sports got exactly the same exposure through the media, the landscape would be different.

March 4, 2016 @ 11:33 AM


Using the term "World Cup" makes a mockery of all the legitimate World Cups elsewhere in the world. This is nothing but a money grab from everyone involved and further proves how bush league the NHL is compared to the other three major North American sports.

And of course, I hope the Sportsnet ratings are in the trash for this tournament just like their NHL ratings are.

March 4, 2016 @ 10:20 PM

Another Steve

My issue with this event is, what's at stake?

It's not a true "world" event. Certainly not the Olympics.

I'm just having trouble accepting that the very same players who reject the NHL all-star
5-on-5 format, will now suddenly embrace the 5-on-5 NHL off-season all-star tournament format.

I'm not buying that players are wrapping themselves in their respective flag and compete for their country-over-club argument either.

I saw the ticket prices, and have no interest being a buyer.
Of course if free tickets come my way, I'll go,

I might even watch. So many options.

I'm just having a hard time seeing these guys sacrifice their health and risk injury (contracts) for a meaningless event.

That said, the players are 50% stakeholders (NHLPA) in this cash grab along side the owners.

March 7, 2016 @ 10:46 AM

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