IIHF, NHL to meet next month to discuss World Cup (Updated)

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the IIHF said the organization will meet with the NHL next month to discuss the proposed World Cup of Hockey, which will reportedly get underway in September of 2016.

“At this time we cannot give a public comment on the status of the World Cup,” communications manager Adam Steiss told PHT via email. “The IIHF will be meeting with the NHL next month to discuss the tournament, but so far nothing has been agreed upon other than the fact that if a tournament was to take place it would do so likely during the dates mentioned at the IIHF Congress.”

Update: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has confirmed via email that the league and IIHF will meet in October.

The meeting comes after reports that NHLPA boss Donald Fehr unveiled World Cup dates and participants to the IIHF Congress at its semi-annual meeting in Tenerife, Spain.

Fehr was said to have addressed the Congress, which opened last Thursday, informing members the tournament would be held from Sept. 15-Oct. 1, 2016. The report also claimed six of the eight participating countries had already been named: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland.

Earlier this summer, Sportsnet claimed the tournament would be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The World Cup has been on hiatus since 2004, but became a hot topic of conversation over the last year. Given how popular the NHL’s Olympic participation has been — and the exposure it’s received — there was a push for the league and players’ union to revive the World Cup. The Olympics have been a tremendous platform, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly acknowledged the league and its players are “invited guests” of the IIHF and IOC, who oversee the Olympic tournament.

Jonathan Weatherdon, the NHLPA’s director of communications, said there is “no news to announce at this time” regarding the proposed ’16 tournament, but added “the PA and the league have been quite vocal that the sides would like to jointly conduct another World Cup of Hockey and talks are actively occurring with the NHL on this front.”

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