World Cup of Hockey Needs To Be Best-on-Best

The NHL has finally gotten on the same page with the Players and has admitted it is time for International hockey to return. Whether that be the World Cup of Hockey or the Olympics. The NHL has decided it is time for a best-on-best tournament.

It was announced last week that the NHL is working towards an international hockey schedule. And the fact that the Olympics is mentioned is a good thing. But again the timing is right for the NHL to go to the Olympics with the games being played in Italy and in a good time zone for TV.

While the format of the 2025 International Tournament is yet to be announced, the NHL is finally acknowledging this needs to happen again.

But when it comes down to it, the World Cup of Hockey needs to be a best-on-best international hockey tournament. No more Team Europe or Team North America. Yes, it was cool, but still, those guys wanted to represent their countries, but moving forward it needs to be the best international hockey nations in the world.

Sometimes players from other nations will be left out. That is the way of the world. And in 2016 when the World Cup of Hockey was last held, that tournament should have been the best international nations ranked by the IIHF. But again it was an NHL/NHLPA event.

And again the climate has to be right too. Don’t forget best on best means including Russian players in the tournament as well. Can’t have a best-on-best tournament when you are missing a powerhouse hockey nation. And their status for a potential 2025 World Cup of Hockey is unknown.

Currently, the IOC is not inviting Russian or Belarus athletes to the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The IIHF still has a ban on Russian players in their events. And that waters down the IIHF World Championships on both the men’s and women’s side, not to mention the World Juniors.

David Alter was on the Full Press NHL Podcast and spoke about the situation regarding International hockey. He believes the Olympics are a definite yes. As far as 2025 goes internationally, if the climate does not change with Russia it will be hard to make that happen.

Not to mention an announcement on a potential international hockey tournament for 2025 needs to be made in January 2024. If they do not have a clear answer about the situation in Russia then the World Cup probably does not happen.

“Do they try to do something else international in its place? Like an event? Maybe. I just don’t know what that is if you don’t have the best players in the world, and it is really tricky right now when you don’t have Russian players there. It just really is. It is murky.”

But he agrees it needs to be best-on-best. You can’t have it any other way.