After 12 years, The World Cup of hockey is back in 2016. 2004 was the last time the tournament was held and then, Canada won the gold by defeating Finland in the final. The first edition of the World Cup was played in 1996. Then, United States won the gold. The 2016 edition of the tournament are held in Toronto September 17 – October 1.
Formerly known as Canada Cup
World Cup of Hockey was formerly known as Canada Cup. Canada Cup was played five times between 1976 and 1991. Canada won four times (1976, 1984, 1987, 1991) and Soviet Union once (1981). Although both World Cup and Canda Cup have had Canadian dominance, it has often been tight games:
- In 1976, Canada won by defeating Czechoslovakia on overtime (5-4) in the final.
- In 1984, Canada went through to the final against Sweden by defeating Soviet Union in overtime in the semi final.
- In 1987, the finals were decided in three games between Canada and Soviet Union. Each game ended 6-5, including two overtime wins. Canada came out as the stronger team.
- In 1996, Canada made it to the final by defeating Sweden in Overtime in the semi final. Before Canada scored the deciding goal, Sweden hit the crossbad. At the time, Sweden had one of their best national teams ever with stars like Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg.
World Cup of Hockey 2016
In 2016, the teams of the tournament are a little difference than before. They are divided into two groups:
Team Europe (A coalition of European players from teams that aren’t participating in the tournament).
Team North America (A team that consists of younger North American players).
As we can see, except for “the big six”, there are two new teams that are actually coalitions of players. It will be interesting to follow for sure. There is also rumors about a Hockey tournament in 2018 that is similar to the Golf’s Ryder Cup: The best players from Europe against the best players from North America. Sadly, it might also mean that we won’t get to see any stars from the National Hockey League in the 2018 Olympic Games. Time will tell.