Rumblings of a major international tournament as early as this summer.

Rumblings of a major international tournament as early as this summer.

A big tournament on the horizon?

Jonathan Larivee

These last few weeks feel like they have been filled with nothing but bad news for fans of hockey in North America, and in some cases for fans of hockey across the globe. From a series of significant postponements in the National Hockey League to the news that NHL players would not be participating in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China, it feels like it's been all downhill for a while now.

It may be a little premature to celebrate just yet, but on Saturday we finally got some good news for hockey fans when NHL insider Elliotte Friedman dropped a very interesting nugget of information during the NHL broadcast. According to Friedman there is a big appetite among NHL players currently to participate in a best on best type of tournament, and it sounds like with enough pressure from the players this could be something that we actually see sometime this year.

"Back in 2016 when you had the World Cup we were still going to the Olympics every other year and there wasn't really the demand for it and, look, the Olympics are the Olympics they will always be the #1 thing, but I think the demand is here for it now," said Friedman on the NHL broadcast. "Not just from the fans but I think from the players."

Friedman also dropped some pretty big names during this reveal, specifically naming stars like Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, and Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.

"Crosby and McDavid skated together last summer because they wanted to see what it would be like to play together. I think the Crosby era Canadians and the McDavid era Canadians wanna play together against the Kane era Americans and the Matthews era Americans. You don't think that those groups of players all want a shot at each other in a best on best with Ovechkin and Hedman and the likes there to try and ruin it?"

We haven't heard about the World Cup of hockey since the tournament in 2016 proved to be a disappointment, but I must admit I would love to see a tournament of this nature given the fact that we are once again being denied best on best at the Olympics. By the sound of it, the players in the NHL appear to feel the same way.

"I think the players really want it and that's why I do think it's gonna happen."