The World Cup of Hockey returns in 2024!
Photo via NHL.com
I know, 2024 still sounds like a ways off (even though it’s really not, only roughly a year and 4 months away) but hockey fans all around the world rejoice, as the NHL and NHLPA announced that they are moving forward with a plan to bring the World Cup of Hockey back to your living rooms.
This will be the fourth time in history that the tournament will be played. It was last held in 2016, when Team Canada brought home the gold just as they did in 2004, and 1996 saw the inaugural World Cup of Hockey with the United States bringing home the first ever tournament championship.
The tournament will be held over a 17-day period in February of 2024, with games being played in both North America and Europe. At least eight different national teams are expected to participate in 2024. Teams that participated in 2016 included the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Team North America (reserved for players 23 and under) and Team Europe (reserved for European players who’s countries were not represented in the tournament)
Will Russia be participating in the 2024 World Cup of Hockey? The NHL continues to suspend business relations with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, so only time will tell.
The NHL looks to expand and grow their league in European markets, as the Nashville Predators will play a preseason game in Switzerland on October 3rd, and the San Jose Sharks in Berlin on October 4th. The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will play two regular season games in Finland on November 4th and 5th.
With hockey being one of the largest and most popular international team sports in the world, and the NHL being the biggest and most competitive pro hockey league on Earth, and home to some of the greatest international players, it’s a no-brainer for the league to want to expand their presence outside of the U.S. and Canada. Bringing the World Cup of Hockey back will do just that, as sports fans from all over will sit down to root for their country to bring them to glory.