Speaking at the European NHL Player Media Tour on Wednesday, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL, NHLPA and IIHF are “moving full steam ahead” and “continuing to ‘have regular meetings’ regarding the return of the World Cup of Hockey tournament in February of 2024.
And, as reported earlier this year, more concrete details about the tournament are beginning to emerge from Daly and the aforementioned planning sessions. According to Daly, the NHL and NHLPA are restricting host cities for the tournament, including some European cities for preliminary and qualifying games.
We still want to play a pool in Europe, a preliminary round pool in Europe and a preliminary round pool in North America and move the semi-finals and the final to another city in North America probably. I think this short list would universally encompass more traditional hockey markets.
The tournament is scheduled to take place over a 17-day period in February, including one day for the front and back of the game for travel purposes. Given the in-season nature of the tournament, there will be little training time for the combined national teams.
Daly also revealed that there were ongoing talks of expanding the tournament field from eight teams to 10, although any qualifying steps to reduce the field to eight would take place during the tournament given the compressed schedule.
It should be noted the potential participation of Russia in this tournament, which, according to Daly, is still uncertain.
It would be the first hockey tournament between the best of its kind since the last time the World Cup was held in 2016. The last Winter Olympics to feature NHL talent was the 2014 edition in Sochi, in Russia. Overall, this would be the fourth edition of the World Cup, as it was previously held in 1996 and 2004.