NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed on Tuesday there won’t be a World Cup of Hockey in February 2021 and the league will hold an all-star game instead.
Last January, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association also ruled out the possibility of a World Cup tournament in 2020, but some were optimistic that the tournament would take place in 2021 seeing that the players aren’t given the chance to take part in the Winter Games.
The World Cup tournament was last held in 2016 because the NHL didn’t allow its players to compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The 2016 World Cup had eight teams: Canada (players age 24 and older), Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, United States (players age 24 and older), Team Europe (players from other European nations) and Team North America (players age 23 and under from Canada and United States).
The tournament held exciting games with the Canadian team coming out on top, defeating Team Europe 2-0 in a best-of-three final.
The NHL is focusing on the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, which will be held on Jan. 25 in St. Louis.
The host city for the 2021 NHL ASG has yet to be named.
Bettman explained that an international-style event could take place over a regular all star game, but it still needs to be negotiated with the NHLPA.
LeBrun reported later on Tuesday that sources with both the NHLPA and NHL suggest both sides are now focused on trying to organize full fledged World Cup of Hockey tournaments in 2024 and 2028.
To be continued...