Monday, September 19, 2016
How World Cup of Hockey can secure place in hockey's future
TORONTO - No matter 1996 or 1987 or a Canada Cup or even the first incarnations of the hockey World Cup. The past, as glorious as it might have been, is the past. Finis. Over and done with.
But the future?
This is really the history of the World Cup of Hockey Jersey 2016 first best-on-best tournament in the sport since the World Cup easily forgotten 2004, which came on the eve of a lockout.
Historically, this horny tournament was fired from the cabinet when hockey league and the players needed to strengthen their personal coffers. Now the tournament to prove that he deserves a place in the International Hockey table.
If well done, many believe there is a place for such a tournament.
Longtime NHL coach Andy Murray International, an assistant for Team Canada in 1996, said he believes the early fall is the perfect time for this kind of tournament. The players are fresh, they love to play for their country, and there is more time to prepare for the Olympics, resulting in higher potential for quality hockey.
As a stand-alone event, the Hockey World Cup is no shortage of competing interests and juice. In part, this is because of the pace of the Team America North team consisting of players under 24 from Canada and the United States.
Not sure anyone could have predicted the buzz around this fleet-foot savagely qualified team headed by side great savior of the NHL, Connor McDavid, and attended by 2016 the draft first overall pick Auston Matthews, who played in front of his new hometown fans in Toronto before he puts on a Maple Leaf jersey in the regular season.
What began as a gimmick has turned into an event, and it will be interesting to see how the fans react if forced to choose between North America and Team Canada or the United States after the preliminary round.
Despite a rash of withdrawals of injury, the tournament boasts a who's who of the elite hockey Sidney Crosby to Alex Ovechkin Henrik Lundqvist.
Team USA is a decided underdog, particularly given the selection of a team that has left a number of highly skilled players such as Phil Kessel and Tyler Johnson home. But Americans are watching because they promise to play a very physical style they hope will erase the disappointment of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
Thus, the product should not be a problem.
But that will ensure a future for the World Cup?
Specifically, can the tournament provide the kinds of moments that will become a touchstone for a generation in the way the Hockey World Cup Hockey fans in 1987 won the mythical status in Canada or the 1996 version has become a time brilliant in the history of American hockey?
One element that will have a significant impact on the role of the World Cup in the future of international hockey is if it becomes tournament at the disposal of the best players of the world best-on-best.
With the International Olympic Committee threatened to change the way it finances hockey participation in the Olympic Games from 2018, there is a good chance time NHL Winter Games ended. The NHL and the players will not pay out of their own pockets to take part in a tournament that most, if not all, owners of the league hate the disruption it brings to the schedule of the regular season.
It will be a sad day if the Olympic experience, which began with the first participation of the NHL in 1998, is completed. Nothing replaces the Olympics. Not even the World Cup of Hockey.
But if the NHL is not the Olympics, the best-on-best hockey thirst must be satisfied somehow. And we know the history of the Cup / World Cup of Hockey Canada Hockey Jersey that this tournament can create indelible memories that cover ages.
However, if the NHL stays in the Olympics, it adds another element of uncertainty to the World Cup of Hockey. Is he threw himself back into the closet hockey with glowing rings and red mullet?
And if not, how much is too best-on-best hockey?
"The commissioner and his office did a sensational job of promoting our sport now with the players' association, and to be partners, and try to bring our game to another level and expand increasingly in the world, so obviously this perspective, it is amazing, "said Wayne Gretzky recently.
But The Great One did express concern.
"I am only afraid of fatigue," said Gretzky. "They play so much hockey. And the level of competition is so high now, and the players are so big and strong and fast, sometimes I just go, 'Wow, we're playing a bit of hockey?' But not for me to say, I simply speak as a fan. "
With the final of the tournament, fans can participate in the creation of a new chapter in international play with the World Cup of Hockey. How the chapter ends - although it will be a fascinating part of this trip.
Want to know any more, please visit: http://www.wcohockey2016.com/