World Cup of Hockey set to return in 2024

PARIS – The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association continue to prepare for a 2024 World Cup of Hockey, and are targeting a 17-day period in February to stage this tournament, which will feature least eight national teams and whose games will be presented in North America and Europe.

The NHL and the AJLNH organized the last World Cup in 2016 when all games were presented in Toronto. This tournament was previously presented in 1996 and 2004.

“We are in full preparation, and that means we will continue to have meetings on a regular basis,” confirmed NHL Assistant Commissioner Bill Daly on Wednesday as part of the European NHL Players Media Tour. .

Daly added that a meeting with Luc Tardif, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, to discuss the World Cup also made his trip to Paris.

He also confirmed that he met with representatives of the NHL and the AJLNH on Tuesday, and that the World Cup had been part of the discussions.

« We announced that we have February 2024 in mind for the World Cup, » Daly said. We are still meeting that deadline. »

Daly said the NHL and NHLPA have begun putting together a short list of markets to host games, a list that includes European cities.

« We still want, in the best of scenarios, to have a group in Europe, and therefore a preliminary round in Europe, as well as a preliminary round in North America, and to present the semi-finals and the final in a different city in North America, he said. I believe this short list should contain more traditional hockey markets. »

The tournament would presumably be presented over 15 days in February, with a travel day planned before and after the competition.

Daly also said discussions have been held to add two nations to the tournament, bringing the total number of teams to 10. This would allow for a qualifying round that would reduce the field to eight teams.

« Longer term, it’s our intention to have a qualifying round at another point in the schedule, » Daly said. Due to the short period of time until February 2024, if we add a qualification phase, I believe that it will have to be part of the tournament. »

Russia’s presence at the World Cup remains uncertain, Daly said.

The NHL’s business relationship with Russia remains suspended since it invaded Ukraine in February, consistent with the mandate of the IIHF, which has suspended that country from all international competition until further notice. order.

Planning for the next World Cup is part of an even bigger scheme for the NHL, which continues to promote hockey and the league on the international stage. This promotion has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will resume this season with the presentation of the 2022 NHL Global Series.

The Nashville Predators will play a preseason game in Bern, Switzerland on October 3, while the San Jose Sharks will do the same in Berlin on October 4. The two teams will then kick off the regular season by playing two matches in Prague on October 7 and 8.

The Colorado Avalanche and the Columbus Blue Jackets will meet twice in Tampere, Finland on November 4 and 5.

These will be the first NHL games to be shown outside of North America since 2019.

« These games are very important as we continue to build our presence in Europe and grow our international business, » Daly said. The return of the Global Series to European soil is very important for our business. »

Daly confirmed that the NHL is already preparing for the 2023 Global Series, and that several league teams have expressed interest.

He added that the NHL was discussing internally the possibility of playing at least preseason games in non-traditional markets in Europe, such as Paris and London.

The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks played two regular season games in London at the start of the 2007-08 campaign.

« A number of fans from different parts of Europe traveled to London to watch these games, » Daly said. We believe that this dynamic would always be present, and I believe that if we present a match in Paris, we would see the same phenomenon. We have hockey fans gathered here, and it’s not just Parisians. It’s definitely possible that we’ll play a game here at some point. »

Daly said the league continues to promote hockey in China by sending coaches to hold youth clinics and investing in ball hockey. It is not certain, however, whether NHL Games in China will be back.

The Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings played two preseason games in China in 2017, as did the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames in 2018.

« It’s something we’ll have to look into, and we’ll make a decision in the near future, » Daly said. However, this is uncertain at this time. »

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