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NHL, NHLPA working on international competition for 2025

Bruce Bennett / USA TODAY Sports

The NHL and its Players' Association are working to create an international event for February 2025, deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to's Dan Rosen.

The intention for the tournament is to kickstart a regular cycle of Olympic participation beginning in 2026 with a World Cup of Hockey played on the even years in between.

"So if we do a '25 international tournament, we do the '26 Olympics, the '28 World Cup of Hockey, the '30 Olympics, the '32 World Cup of Hockey, and so on," Daly said. "That's the goal."

The format of the proposed 2025 event is unclear to this point, as is a potential deadline for a final decision.

"I don't know exactly what form it will take," Daly said. "The goal is to make it an international competition of some sort. It's going to obviously be heavily NHL-centric in terms of the player base, maybe entirely NHL. We'll see what form it takes, but that's something we're working on with the Players' Association."

Russia and Belarus are still banned from IIHF events due to the invasion of Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee has also banned the countries, but allows its participants to compete provided they don't represent their native flags.

The NHL hasn't participated in a best-on-best international event since the World Cup in 2016. The league didn't go to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang after sending players to the previous five games, and a return to Beijing in 2022 was nixed due to the pandemic.

In recent years, several prominent NHL voices, including Edmonton Oilers captain and reigning MVP Connor McDavid, have called on the league to coordinate a best-on-best event.

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