NHL and union shelve World Cup of Hockey return in 2020
The World Cup of Hockey, the NHL-backed international ice hockey competition, which returned in 2016 after a 12-year absence, will no longer take place in 2020, stakeholders have confirmed.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto was widely deemed a success, and plans were in place for the tournament to be held quadrennially, but the NHL and the NHL Players' Association decided to scrap next year's tournament at a joint meeting in the Canadian city yesterday.
The NHL said: "While the parties have now jointly concluded that it is no longer realistic to try to schedule a Word Cup of Hockey for the fall of 2020, they plan to continue their dialogue with a hope of being able to schedule the next World Cup event as part of a broader agreement, which would include a long-term international event calendar."
In a separate statement, the NHLPA said: "The players are focused on finding the proper time to schedule the World Cup of Hockey within the context of an overall international hockey calendar."
The NHLPA added it was "unrealistic to expect preparations for the event would be completed in time."
The issue is complicated by the fact the current collective bargaining agreement between the two expires in 2020. The NHL and the union have started informal labour talks in recent weeks, with both sides having the option to opt out of the CBA in September.
The World Cup of Hockey was played in 1996 and 2004, before the 2016 tournament, which featured six national teams and two continental teams from Europe and North America (an under-23 team).
The 15-day tournament generated $60 million in revenue.