With the NHL not attending the Olympics in 2018 or 2022 for various reasons, it’s been a while since Sidney Crosby has had a major international tournament to win.
Fear not, the NHL has announced the next major event!
The NHL and NHLPA are expecting the World Cup of Hockey to return in 2024.https://t.co/6H1rnuptRL— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) August 24, 2022
From the league:
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association are moving forward with plans for a World Cup of Hockey in 2024, targeting a 17-day window in February to hold the tournament.
The World Cup of Hockey was last played in 2016, when all games were played in Toronto. There were also tournaments in 1996 and 2004.
“We’re moving full steam ahead and that means we’re continuing to have regular meetings,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday during the NHL’s European Player Media Tour.
The 2024 tournament will feature at least eight national teams, with games played in North America and Europe, Daly said.
Meetings with the NHLPA and Luc Tardif, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, to discuss the World Cup were part of the trip to Paris.
“We’re out in market already moving ahead with plans for a February 2024 World Cup,” Daly said. “We’re still on schedule.”
Daly said the NHL and NHLPA are looking at a short list of markets to host games, including select European cities.
“We still want to play one pool in Europe, a preliminary round pool in Europe and a preliminary round pool in North America and move the semifinals and the final to a different city in North America likely,” he said. “I think that short list would universally encompass more traditional hockey markets.”
The tournament would likely take place across 15 days in February, with a day on the front end and a day on the back end built in for travel purposes.
Daly also said there are discussions about adding two nations to the tournament, bringing the total to 10 to create a qualification round to get down to eight teams.
“I think longer term, that’s our plan to have a qualification tournament at another time during the calendar,” Daly said. “Given the short timeframe we have between now and February 2024, if we have a qualification stage, I think it’s part of the tournament.”
There is still uncertainty about the potential for Russia to have a team in the World Cup, Daly said.
The NHL continues to suspend all business relationships in Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February and aligns with the mandate from the International Ice Hockey Federation that the nation is suspended from all international competitions until further notice.
Aside from sparsely attended World Championships, the 2016 World Cup and 2014 and 2010 Olympics have been the last three events to draw in all of the world’s best hockey players. Crosby has captained Team Canada to gold in all three. Will the ‘24 World Cup be any different? It’s tough to imagine why it would be.
The NHL is tentatively hoping to reach an agreement with the IIHF about participating in the 2026 Olympics. Crosby is not under contract to play in the NHL for the 2025-26 season, but has recently suggested he would like to continue to play past his current contract, health permitting. He would be 38 by the time that tournament, if the NHL is able to clear all the hurdles and get there. Until then, it appears the NHL will just create their own tournaments for him to win.