The next World Cup of Hockey could come as early as the fall of 2020, but there’s a caveat.
According to The Athletic’s Corey Masisak, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the hope is for the next tournament to happen in two years time.
It’s contingent on both the NHL and the NHLPA not terminating their existing collective bargaining agreement next year, which both sides have the right to do if they so choose.
If one side pulls out, Daly said the likelihood of a World Cup in 2020 would be, well, unlikely.
The last World Cup game in 2016 and was hosted in Toronto. Team Canada won the gold that year on a team comprised of players 24 years old and up.
Along with Canada were the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, a 24-and-up team from the USA, Team Europe, which was cobbled together from players from several smaller European countries including Germany, Denmark and Slovakia, and Team North America, which was comprised of players from both Canada and the USA that were 23 or under.
The tournament itself was tremendous, with a best-of-three final that pitted Canada against an unlikely foe in Team Europe. Canada went on to win the series 2-0, but the European team was the talk of the tournament thanks to Jaroslav Halak‘s heroics in goal and a team that just seem to gel at the right time.
With no Olympic hockey in Pyeongchang earlier this year, the World Cup provides the next-best platform for a best-on-best tournament involving competing nations.
A tournament in 2020 would be the fourth incarnation, after tournaments in 1996, 2004 and most recently in 2016 were held.
Canada has won the tournament twice and finished runner-up to the Americans in the inaugural tournament in 1996.