Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

World Cup of Hockey could become regular event

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Bill Streicher / US Presswire

The 2016 World Cup may just be the start.

According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, this year’s tournament could lay the groundwork for future international hockey competitions.

“We would like to do the World Cup on a regular basis, perhaps in locations throughout the world,” Bettman told “We’re looking at other competitions that we can do internationally on a regular basis.”

A possible itinerary could include the World Cup played every four years, a hockey version of pro golf’s Ryder Cup, as well as international exhibition and regular-season games.

“With (the World Cup) as the foundation, you’re going to see an increased international presence on a regular basis,” Bettman said, “Whether it’s exhibition games with NHL teams against each other, against local teams, regular-season games, clinics.

“And now with this as the foundation we have an opportunity to do further exploration for a sport that has the most diverse player group of any of the North American sports.”

The NHL last played international regular-season games as part of the 2011 NHL Premiere. That year, the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, and New York Rangers hosted games in Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden.

The 2016 World Cup begins Sept. 17 in Toronto. Eight teams will participate in the event, including six nations (Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), as well as a European All-Star team (Team Europe) and a North American under-23 team.

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