The World Cup of Hockey could be making a return in 2024.
The idea of the best-on-best tournament making a return has been discussed between the NHL and NHLPA, according to NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun of TSN.
“Plans are afoot. The NHL and NHLPA had a meeting last week about the next best-on-best event, the World Cup of Hockey, to be held in 2024. The two sides plan to meet again next week,” LeBrun said Thursday on Insider Trading. “They also plan to bring in the IIHF and the country stakeholders in another big meeting in the next couple of months.
“Here’s the most interesting part, by far. The strongest possibility, in terms of a window to hold the World Cup in 2024 is in February, mid-way through the 2023-24 season, which is a complete departure from past World Cup and Canada Cup events that are usually held in September before the season. The NHLPA has asked the league for years to think about holding the events mid-season.”
As mentioned on TSN’s Insider Trading, NHL/NHLPA met last week to start planning on 2024 World Cup of Hockey. Most intriguing is the “strong possibility” according to sources that the event would be played in February 2024, mid-season instead of the normal September time slot.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 3, 2022
LeBrun also noted that NHL owners wouldn’t be thrilled about a midseason best-on-best tournament interrupting the 2023-24 season, and that the NHL remains committed to participating in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.
The NHL pulled out of the 2022 Beijing Olympics in December, citing rising COVID-19 concerns hitting the league that prompted the postponement of over 90 games earlier this season.
The last World Cup of Hockey was held in 2016 and featured Canada, Czechia, Finland, Russia, Sweden, the United States, and two specialty teams consisting of Team Europe — which featured European players outside of the aforementioned countries — and Team North America, featuring players aged 23-and-under from Canada and the United States.
Canada won the tournament, besting Team Europe 2-0 in the best-of-three final.
Hockey hasn’t seen a best-on-best tournament since.