NHL calls off potential World Cup of Hockey in 2021, aiming for 2024
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman eliminated the possibility of a potential World Cup of Hockey in 2021, saying Tuesday there isn't enough time to get it done, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
This past offseason, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league was "cautiously optimistic" about the NHL and NHLPA being able to coordinate a World Cup based on successful CBA negotiations.
The proposed tournament would have taken place in February 2021, with the league taking a break in order to stage the event.
The NHL and NHLPA are now focused on organizing full-fledged World Cup of Hockey tournaments in 2024 and 2028, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
In the meantime, the international focus will shift to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China. NHL players didn't suit up for the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Olympic participation is still a contentious issue between the players' association and league owners.
The World Cup of Hockey debuted in 1996 and had another installment in 2004 before making a return in 2016. The most recent version was won by Team Canada, and it also garnered plenty of praise for the implementation of Team North America - a band of Under-23 superstars who took the tournament by storm with a relentlessly entertaining style of play.
The NHL hasn't gathered for a best-on-best tournament since the 2016 event.