World Cup Hockey in my opinion is part NHL hype machine (seeing as the tournament is happening a month before regular season play opens) and part Olympic Hockey replacement. So NHL fans should be completely hyped over this two week in tournament for two reasons.
One, as mentioned above, the NHL season is less than a month away and fans are getting a chance to see their favorite NHLers playing. Sure, there’s preseason games that aired on TV that fans can watch. But who doesn’t love getting to see their favorite NHL stars playing on their national teams? These guys play completely different when they’re playing for national pride. Take Sidney Crosby for example, he’s a beast only having one mode which is beast mode on the ice, but if you watch him in World Cup play it’s like he’s on a whole other level playing wise. He’s already won everything there is to win: Olympic medals, World Championship medals, Stanley Cups, Conn Smythe, member of the Triple Gold Club, etc… So now that he’s got another thing to win for his country with the new World Cup Hockey he’s even more motivated to play his heart out. Just imagine what would happen if Canada wins the first World Cup Hockey Tournament in Toronto, it would be like the Golden Goal all over again.
The second reason why NHL fans should get hyped about this World Cup Hockey tournament is that it’s most likely going to be the replacement for Olympic play. Which means that fans won’t lose out on two weeks of regular season play every four years. Back in May the NHL reported that the NHL was undecided on whether they would let their players go play in the 2018 Olympics. Dan Rosen of the NHL wrote, “Commissioner Bettman estimated the cost at being “many, many, many millions of dollars” to cover expenses such as transportation, insurance and accommodations for the approximately 150 NHL players who would participate in the Olympics.” Which can make the NHL look greedy, but really it’s a valid reasoning for not letting players represent their countries in the Olympics.
The NHL loses a lot of money every four years when they have to shut down their season just so that players can represent their home countries in the Winter Games. So can you really blame them for not wanting to lose out on money for two weeks? Sure, they already have enough money what with current ticket prices and merchandise sales, etc. But let’s talk about the injuries that can happen and how that affects fans. During the 2014 Sochi Games, John Tavares suffered an injury that knocked him out for the rest of the regular season, which then ended up hurting the Islanders which then affected the fans. They were robbed of the opportunity to potentially see their team make a deep playoff run.
Yes, injuries can happen during the World Cup Tournament, like which happened to Tyler Seguin. But in Seguin’s case, his injury will heal in time to play for the Dallas Stars so his injury won’t affect the team. Sure all those playing in the tournament are playing their hearts out in hopes to win the tournament, but they’re also mindful of the bigger picture which is the NHL regular season and Lord Stanley.
So really fans should be expected to have the World Cup of Hockey happen a lot more often and look at it for what it is: Part NHL Hype Machine, Part NHL Controlled International Play.