12/26/12: At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun writes that the NHL should bring back the World Cup of Hockey and make it permanent so that, with the Olympics, there would be International Hockey played every two years.
LeBrun writes “So every two years you either have the best in the world playing in the Olympics or the World Cup. Playing it in February instead of September, like the old Canada Cups/World Cup, would bring more legitimacy to the event”
He adds that in World Cup seasons the All-Star game would be eliminated, like it is with the Olympics, but that in other years the All-Star game would take place in January
Canada won the last World Cup, in 2004, and the USA (with Brian Leetch and Mike Richter) won in 1996.
In October, Rory MacGregor wrote in the Globe and Mail that all the major players: NHL, NHLPA, Hockey Canada and the IIHF, have spoken about bringing the World Cup back. He says that it would be played in February and the games would be played in prime time.
He adds “A February tournament every fourth year, however, might prove wildly successful – just as Olympic hockey has since NHL players began to play at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.”
1/8/13: LeBrun writes at ESPN.com that with the 2014 games only 13 months away the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and IOC will meet in the next month to decide whether NHL players will take part in the 2014 games.
LeBrun says that neither the NHL or NHLPA have been happy with the conditions they have had to deal with in past Olympics and conditions will need to improve if the players are going to return.
He adds that it is likely that the World Cup will return since there is support from the players and owners to bring it back.