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World Cup of Hockey

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Title: World Cup of Hockey  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Canada Cup, History of the National Hockey League (1992–present), Eric Brewer, Ville Peltonen, Vincent Lecavalier
Collection: Ice Hockey Tournaments, World Cup of Hockey
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

World Cup of Hockey

World Cup of Hockey
Tournament information
Sport Ice hockey
Established 1996
Number of tournaments 2
Teams 8
Current champion

The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it was the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991. The tournament occurred twice on an irregular basis, with the United States winning in 1996 and Canada winning in 2004. A third edition is scheduled for 2016, after which the tournament will, for the first time ever, be held on a regular basis every four years, alternating biannually with a planned all-star series between North America and Europe.

The World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League (NHL), unlike the annual World Ice Hockey Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, and the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all of the best players in the world to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs.


  • History 1
    • Canada Cup 1.1
    • World Cup of Hockey 1.2
  • Trophy 2
  • Results 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Canada Cup

The World Cup of Hockey was preceded by the Canada Cup, which began in 1976 in a combined effort from Doug Fisher of Hockey Canada and Alan Eagleson of the NHL Players' Association.[1] Taking inspiration from soccer's FIFA World Cup, Eagleson proposed a new tournament that would bring together all the top hockey-playing nations. After successful negotiations with hockey officials from the Soviet Union in September 1974, Eagleson began arranging the Canada Cup tournament, which debuted in 1976.[2] It was the first international ice hockey tournament that allowed hockey nations to field their top players, as the Winter Olympics was a strictly amateur competition and the annual World Championships clashed with the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The tournaments, held every three to five years, took place in North American venues prior to the start of the National Hockey League (NHL) regular season. Of the five Canada Cup tournaments, four were won by Canada, while the Soviet Union won one in 1981.

World Cup of Hockey

In 1996, the Canada Cup was officially replaced by the World Cup of Hockey. The Canada Cup trophy was retired. The United States defeated Canada to win the inaugural event. Other competitors were the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.

Eight years later, the second installment of the World Cup of Hockey took place in 2004, just prior to the 2004–05 NHL lockout. Canada won its first tournament championship, defeating the Czech Republic in the semifinals and Finland in the final match.

On January 24, 2015, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will be held in September 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The 2016 edition will feature a slightly modified format: alongside the national teams of Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, popularly dubbed as the Big Six,[3] there will be two all-star teams, consisting of Europeans, and North American under-23 players. The all-star teams will be replaced by qualifying tournaments to expand the field for the 2020 edition. There are also plans for a spin-off event beginning in 2018, which would pit a European all-star team against a North American all-star team in a five or seven-game series. This event will also occur every four years, alternating biannually with the World Cup of Hockey. These moves are intended, primarily, to help expand the international prominence of the NHL.[4]


1996 World Cup trophy

In 2004, Canadian architect Frank Gehry designed a new trophy for the tournament. It is made from a composite alloy of copper and nickel as well as solid cast urethane plastic.[5] The trophy was criticized by the sports community, noting the Toronto Sun's headline "What is that?"[6]


Year Final Host Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists
1996 Montreal  United States  Canada  Russia and  Sweden
2004 Toronto  Canada  Finland  Czech Republic and  United States
2016 Toronto

See also


  1. ^ "Canada Cup (World Cup of Hockey)". Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ The Canada Cup of Hockey Fact and Stat Book, p. 2, H.J. Anderson, ISBN number: 1412055121, 9781412055123, Publisher: Trafford Publishing, 2005
  3. ^ "NHL announces World Cup of Hockey for 2016".  
  4. ^ "New-look World Cup of hockey back for 2016". Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ Baurick, Tristan (May 13, 2004). "Architect's love of the game inspiration behind Cup trophy", Ottawa Citizen, p. C2.
  6. ^ Adams, Noah (September 3, 2004). "Frank Gehry's World Cup of Hockey Trophy" (Radio Interview.).  
  • Müller, Stephan : International Ice Hockey Encyclopedia 1904-2005 / BoD GmbH Norderstedt, 2005 ISBN 3-8334-4189-5
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