World Cup Of Hockey Reportedly Set For '16 In Toronto; NHL Stays Mum On Olympics
The World Cup of Hockey is "expected to be held in Toronto when it is reborn" in September '16, according to sources cited by Chris Johnston of SPORTSNET. Sources said that the NHL and NHLPA are "currently working on the final details of an agreement that will fill out the international calendar for the next several years and believe that the Air Canada Centre is the ideal location to relaunch the World Cup." The sides are not yet ready to announce details of the tournament, but they "met on Tuesday and plan to continue discussions in the coming days." A number of different formats "were considered for the relaunch of the World Cup, but Toronto emerged as the strongest candidate because of the anticipated impact it would have in the world’s largest hockey market." A World Cup in Toronto would "bring another high-profile event to the city around the same time the Maple Leafs are celebrating their 100th anniversary." It is believed that in the future, "cities around the world might be involved a bidding process for the event." One source indicated that the event "could generate" as much as $100M in revenue. That money "will be split evenly between the league and players and doesn’t fall under hockey-related revenue." As a result, it "won’t have any impact on the salary cap." The World Cup discussions are "being held outside of any talks on future Olympic participation" (SPORTSNET.ca, 6/4).
DOES THAT MAKE CENTS? Bettman yesterday during his annual state of the league address at the Stanley Cup Final called the league's talks with the NHLPA about the return of the World Cup of Hockey "very substantive." But he added the plans are not "fully baked." The AP's Greg Beacham noted the tournament has not been held since '04, but the hockey world "has been talking for months about the return of the summer tournament." The event "would be lucrative to the NHL and the players' union, and it wouldn't require a three-week league shutdown in the middle of a season, as the Olympics do" (AP, 6/4). In Toronto, Damien Cox writes the NHL and NHLPA "say they were happy with the recent Sochi Olympic tourney, but nobody was particularly impressed with the entertainment provided on the larger international ice surface." The NHL and the union "might convince themselves they can do better, and this way they’d get the revenues and profits, not the IOC" (TORONTO STAR, 6/5).