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NHL announces huge changes for 2020 World Cup

RIP Team North America.

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The World Cup of Hockey is coming back in 2020, but it won’t be quite the same as the version hockey fans got to witness in 2016. Remember the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? Team Canada bested Team Europe (Remember them?) in the tournament final, Brad Marchand emerged as a legitimate star, Sidney Crosby did his thing winning MVP and the entire hockey world couldn’t stop talking about Team North America. Well… forget all that because Gary Bettman and the NHL aren’t interested in building off the momentum of 2016, they’re intent on starting anew in 2020.

In an interview with The Fourth Period, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league is planning 2020’s World Cup, but that no official announcement will come until the NHL and the NHLPA agree to a new collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-21 season. However, here is what we DO know about the 2020 tournament, should it go ahead:

Multiple host cities:

The 2020 WCH format will revert back similarly to what it was in 1996 and 2004 with tournament games in various cities.

Edmonton and Chicago are odds on favorite to host games:

Edmonton and Chicago are two markets expected to house at least one game, but Daly couldn’t confirm that, reiterating cities haven’t been finalized.

No more Team North America or Team Europe:

“I think we did the Team Europe and the Under-23 Team as kind of a one-off, one-time thing,” Daly said. “I think our preference probably would be to have national entries, but nothing is set in stone.”

Interesting. While we’re disappointed that there won’t be another Under 23 team, it makes much more sense now to have each country’s best young players play for their home country. An American squad without Auston Matthews, Jack Eicl, Johnny Gaudreau and Connor Hellebuyck seems a tad unfair.