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NHL and NHLPA Announce Plans For 2016 World Cup of Hockey



The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association announced on Wednesday their plans for the World Cup of Hockey Tournament next fall.

The World Cup will run from September 17 2016 through October 1 2016 with all games taking place at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario. ESPN will carry the broadcasts of the games in the United States, while Sportsnet and TVA Sports will provide the coverage in Canada.

The last time the league held the World Cup of Hockey was in 2004, when Canada took home the Gold. New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said, “We’ve been talking about this for years now. The league has been pushing for it and the players association has been talking about it.”

During the announcement, Lundqvist added, “Having a break for 12 years, it is important to let people know that it is back and you need to set the good tone by putting on a good product here. I think they have done a good job with that. I am really excited about it and I think a lot of players are going to get this opportunity to play in a big tournament.”

Rangers captain, Ryan McDonagh, an American defenseman said, “You can’t have it on a bigger stage than Toronto.”

The format of the tournament will feature eight teams separated into two groups for the preliminary round which will take place September 17 through September 22 next year. The top two finishers from each group will face off in the semifinals on September 24 and 25, 2016.

The winners of the semifinal round will meet in a best of three final round between September 27 and October 1, 2016.

Team Canada, Team USA, Team Czech Republic and Team Europe will represent Group A in the tournament. Group B will be represented by Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team Finland and Team North America.

Team North America will be comprised of the top players 23 years of age or younger, as of October 1 2016. Team Europe will be represented by players from the other European nations outside of the four that are already competing in the tournament.

German Ice Hockey Federation President Franz Reindl was named president and leader for Team Europe, while former NHL player and Slovakian team captain, Miroslav Satan was named the general manager. Former Edmonton Oiler coach, Ralph Krueger will coach Team Europe.

Oilers general manager, Peter Chiarelli and Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman were named co-managers for Team North America.

NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, announced that Team Europe and Team North America were created to ensure that as many players as possible will get the chance to participate in the tournament. Bettman said, “These two teams, they are more competitive than any other country team would have been for this event, so it will make the competition more competitive as well.”

He added, “Otherwise you would have had a country with maybe just a couple of NHL players. Now you have what are going to be two very strong teams highlighting more NHL players being included than any other way we could have done it.”

The rosters will consist of 23 players, featuring 20 skaters and three goalies. The first 16 players, including two goalies for each team must be named not later than March 1. The rest of the rosters must then be filled out by June 1.

All of the games will be played on an NHL sized rink using NHL rules and officials. Other competition features, such as anti-doping rules, supplementary discipline and medical protocols will be coordinated by the NHL and the NHLPA with consultation from the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Tickets will go on sale through on October 14. NHL training camps are expected to open on time for the 2016-2017 season and players competing in the World Cup will rejoin their NHL teams once their World Cup Team’s tournament games are finished.

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