With the World Juniors around the corner and Olympics closely following, Canadian hockey fans are waiting on bated breath to see who will represent us in Pyeongchang…
Without the NHL’s participation in the Olympics, one of the most anticipated international hockey tournaments of the year will likely turn into the Spengler Cup with better media coverage.
With the potential exclusion of Russia at the Olympics the field could be wide open. The Americans will send an NCAA all star squad, while Sweden and Finland will scrounge from their professional leagues to fill out their rosters. But given the sheer volume and reach of their hockey program, there are plenty of options at Canada’s disposal.
The World Cup of Hockey is right around the corner and… to be honest I don’t know how I feel about it. On one hand I will probably tune in because I love hockey. But on the other hand, I really just don’t care about the result. The NHL is branding this as a replacement for the Olympics, but the mere presence of the Under-23 North American team and the Rest-of-Europe team has rendered this tournament to be a bit of a joke.
It’s a good thing that I enjoy a good joke. I am actually kind of excited to see a team purely built on the young talent of the NHL and how they’ll stack up against the likes of Canada, Russia, and the US. My problem with the World Cup is the fact that the NHL is marketing this as a serious tournament that will definitively prove the best nation in hockey. How will they decide which anthem is played if team Europe wins? Or for team North America for that matter? How will people react to the US program if they come in last despite conceding a bulk of their talent (Eichel, Matthews, Gaudreau, Jones, Gostisbehere, Gibson) to this Young Guns team? The NHL should embrace the joke instead of claiming that this tournament is an Olympics replacement. Play every game 3 on 3. Let fans vote on what song plays for team North America’s anthem. Add even more gimmick teams to the tournament roster.
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