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Thread: World Cup 2016

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    NHL World Cup 2016

    Well, for better or for worse, the NHL's newest edition of the "World Cup" is upon us. Use this thread for the discussion of the tournament once it begins. All scores, stats, video, pictures, discussion and criticism should go here.

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    I hope the NHL fans enjoy it. Should be more competutive than the other 'all-star' formats the NHL owners have tried. I presume the IIHF backing is a sop to help with player release for the Olympics. For me it's a meaningless event.

    Geoff

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I think the idea of "Team Europe" and "Team North America" are insults to the players and the fans, but that's just me. I actually would really enjoy this tournament for what it is if they would have just stuck with the format of having certain nations play, regardless if certain nations were missing for whatever reason. The reason that they are doing this, of course, is that certain nations don't have enough players currently in the NHL to fill out rosters, and, unlike past Canada/World Cups, the NHL only wants NHL players participating from this point forward. Dumb.

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    the NHL only wants NHL players participating from this point forward. Dumb.
    Marc, are you sure about that? What about Russia? I assume at least some of their roster will be made up of players from the KHL?

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    IHF Member Snapshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I think the idea of "Team Europe" and "Team North America" are insults to the players and the fans, but that's just me.
    You are not the only one....

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    As far as Canada is concerned, I think their roster might be an opportunity to give some new players a chance to represent their country. Stamkos, Hall, Seguin, Giroux, Mackinnon, and O'Reilly should / could replace some players from the 2014 Olympic team. St.Louis is retired, Getzlaf is having a horrible season, Nash is getting old, to name a few.

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Teams have to name their initial 16 players today:

    Russia:
    Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets, G
    Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche, G
    Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning, G
    Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers, D
    Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens, D
    Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals, D
    Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks, F
    Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings, F
    Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning, F
    Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders, F
    Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals, F
    Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, F
    Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning, F
    Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, F
    Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks, F
    Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues, F

    Finland:
    Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, G
    Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators, G
    Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins, D
    Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres, D
    Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks, D
    Esa Lindell, Dallas Stars, D
    Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild, F
    Jori Lehtera, St. Louis Blues, F
    Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers, F
    Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild, F
    Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers, F
    Valtteri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning F
    Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs, F
    Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks, F
    Lauri Korpikoski, Edmonton Oilers, F
    Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks, F

    Czech Rep
    Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings, G
    Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers, G
    Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets, G
    Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers, D
    Michal Kempny, Avangard Omsk (KHL), D
    Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks, D
    Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning, D
    Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames, F
    Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes, F
    Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks, F
    David Krejci, Boston Bruins, F
    Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning, F
    David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins, F
    Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens, F
    Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL), F
    Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers, F

    More to come....

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Sweden
    Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, G
    Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks, G
    Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes, D
    Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning, D
    Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks, D
    Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators, D
    Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings, D
    Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning, D
    Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals, F
    Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins, F
    Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, F
    Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche, F
    Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, F
    Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, F
    Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues, F
    Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings, F

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    Team "Europe"

    Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks (Denmark), G
    Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia), G
    Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Slovakia), D
    Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Switzerland), D
    Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins (Germany), D
    Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers (Slovakia), D
    Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers (Switzerland), D
    Mikkel Boedker, Colorado Avalanche (Denmark), F
    Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Germany), F
    Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks (Denmark), F
    Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (Slovakia), F
    Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia), F
    Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders (Denmark), F
    Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (Slovakia), F
    Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild (Austria), F
    Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers (Norway), F
    Taro Tsujimoto, the greatest NHL player ever!

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    I am also expecting that Zemgus Girgensons (LV), Antoinne Roussel (FRA) and Mikhail Grabovski (BLR) will make the final cut solely based on a guess that they'd want to have more countries involved. As for guys like Sprong (will he even be considered as European?) and Zubrus - their NHL status, especially considering next year, is up in the air and they might not be as attractive as a viewer bait.
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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    USA
    Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning, G
    Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings, G
    Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils, G
    Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets, D
    John Carlson, Washington Capitals, D
    Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers, D
    Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild, D
    Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings, F
    Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks, F
    Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks, F
    T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals, F
    Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens, F
    Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild, F
    Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks, F
    Derek Stepan, New York Rangers, F
    Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets, F

    Canada
    Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, G
    Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals, G
    Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens, G
    Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, D
    Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, D
    Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks, D
    Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, D
    Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars, F
    Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins, F
    Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings, F
    Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, F
    Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks, F
    Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars, F
    Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, F
    John Tavares, New York Islanders, F
    Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks, F

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Team North America (U23): - 8 Americans and Canadians chosen

    John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks, G
    Connor Hellebuyck, Manitoba (AHL), G
    Matthew Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins, G
    Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers, D
    Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets, D
    Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets, D
    Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs, D
    Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers, F
    Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres, F
    Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames, F
    Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings, F
    Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche, F
    Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers, F
    J.T. Miller, New York Rangers, F
    Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames, F
    Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets, F

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    That junior team sure is not going to play boring "judt defence" game :D

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    This tournament feels like one big sick joke. That is all.

    ...and this coming from someone who certainly isn't above cracking some himself.
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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Final additions to rosters takes place May 27-28 from what I understand. Let the debating begin

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The Team Europe and especially the Team North America jerseys are some of the ugliest I have ever seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    The Team Europe and especially the Team North America jerseys are some of the ugliest I have ever seen.
    Uglier than the Islander's 'Gorton's Fisherman' uniforms?

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    Uglier than the Islander's 'Gorton's Fisherman' uniforms?
    I, for one - the only one, probably, actually liked those. Those puppies looked much better than the Philadelphia Flyers current/ancient orange creamsicle abominations.

    But I hate the Flyers, as any reasonable hockey fan would.
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    IHF Member Geoff's Avatar
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    I've got a white one hanging in my closet right now so I have to admit that I love them too. They're so fantastically 90s!

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Are there really basket cases who are actually looking forward to this thing?

    I've never felt so unethusiastic about a hockey tournament as I feel about this one. Then again, it's not really even international...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    Are there really basket cases who are actually looking forward to this thing?

    I've never felt so unethusiastic about a hockey tournament as I feel about this one. Then again, it's not really even international...
    As a so called 'best on best' tournament, it will be a poor substitute for the Olympics but....
    We'd better embrace this thing because I would almost bet my life there will be no NHL participation in Korea.

  22. #22
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    We'd better embrace this thing because I would almost bet my life there will be no NHL participation in Korea.
    Funny, this sounds more like a perfect reason to NOT embrace it. You know, to send them a signal that this is, indeed, a poor substitute.
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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    You know, to send them a signal that this is, indeed, a poor substitute.
    The NHL hasn't proven itself adept at picking up on public perception though. When have they listened to their own fans? Have they ever? Judging by their press releases, they don't even listen to themselves. Or, just as likely, their heads are so firmly planted up their own arses that they don't have a sense of reality.
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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trim View Post
    The NHL hasn't proven itself adept at picking up on public perception though. When have they listened to their own fans? Have they ever? Judging by their press releases, they don't even listen to themselves. Or, just as likely, their heads are so firmly planted up their own arses that they don't have a sense of reality.
    This thing was designed as a blatant cash grab. So when one does not go and see the games, buy any merchandise or cable packages broadcasting this... THAT should send a message they understand.

    That being said, I'm certainly aware that my position as a lone international hockey connoisseur is quite insignificant in turning their heads. But at least not tuning in gives me the moral high ground to complain when compared to those who don't really like it but cave in and watch anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    This thing was designed as a blatant cash grab.
    All of these tournaments, from Canada Cup '76 till now were blatant cash grabs.
    The only difference is that when it was known as the Canada Cup, the cash mostly wound up in Alan Eagleson's pocket.
    I read that the first World Cup in 1996 netted the NHLPA more revenue than the five Canada Cup tournaments combined.
    Little wonder Eagleson was eventually booted out of the HOF.

  26. #26
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    All of these tournaments, from Canada Cup '76 till now were blatant cash grabs.
    There's still a difference if the product is actually something you wish to pay for. The gimmick teams pretty much ensure that this time that is not the case. I mean, think of the results table alone. What if one of those teams win? That would mean that the best NT in the tournament was not the one that won, but the one that came in 2nd... The fact alone that you have to consider something like this tells at least to me that this particular tourney is not worth a broken eurocent of my hard-earned money.

    What next? Do they implement an all-star team of the best players who did not make it to the Stanley Cup playoffs? Or perhaps they should invite some KHL teams... I'm sure that would go over well. After all, there apparently are folks who find the inclusion of these joke teams in what is supposed to be an international tournament "interesting".
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I used to love the old Canada Cup tournaments, and the 1996 World Cup tournament. Those were real international tournaments where the nations sent their very best and really played hard to win.

    The 2004 World Cup was an afterthought.

    This event could be great, since it has a ton of top-end NHL talent....world class players all around. I just HATE that two teams that are not national teams are included. What anthems do they play for those two teams? Ridiculous.

    With that said, the tournament is happening and we'll cover it here while realizing that it's nothing other than a glorified exhibition. Exhibition games can be and often are a lot of fun, but let's call them what they are - fun games with nothing real on the line.

  28. #28
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The teams have now all named their final 23-man rosters.

    Team USA is an absolute train wreck......no Phil Kessel, Paul Stastny, Tyler Johnson, Kyle Okposo, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler or Kevin Shattenkirk. Yet they have Jack Johnson, Erik Johnson, Justin Abdelkader, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky? Really?

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if the U-23 'Team North America' beats them. Gross.

    Canada as usual looks like a powerhouse. Surprised to see Corey Perry and PK Subban left off though.

    Sweden looks awesome. Russia and the Finns will be good.

    Czechs are going to get SMOKED here and look even worse than the USA.

    'Team Europe' - if they care - will be very good.

  29. #29
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I used to love the old Canada Cup tournaments, and the 1996 World Cup tournament.

    The 2004 World Cup was an afterthought.
    That wouldn't have anything to do with the USA winning in '96 and not 2004, would it? I thought the 2004 tournament was good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    ]I just HATE that two teams that are not national teams are included. What anthems do they play for those two teams? Ridiculous.
    NHL rules, no need for anthems? I could see Europe getting "Ode to Joy" since that's the EU anthem. I'll venture to guess the YoungStars will get some live performance from some substandard punk band or crappy pop singer. Because that might get somebody to watch this shambles...
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Not at all, Trim. I loved the Canada Cups and the USA didn't win any of them. 1996 had a TON of media attention - mainstream national media attention - even before the tournament started. Non-hockey fans were even paying attention. In 2004, there was no media buzz whatsoever and barely any coverage. It was poorly marketed and executed and was being brought back after an eight year dormancy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    T
    Canada as usual looks like a powerhouse. Surprised to see Corey Perry and PK Subban left off though.
    I am not at all surprised Subban was left off the team.
    He was pretty much the forgotten man in Sochi and this past season was certainly not his best.
    Without Carey Price to bail him out Subban's high risk style was exposed on far too many occasions.
    Canada has no shortage of puck handling two way D men who are more responsible in their own end than PK.

    Interesting that Perry captained the gold medal winning team at the Worlds but isn't even invited.
    I guess Canada really is that deep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    In 2004, there was no media buzz whatsoever and barely any coverage. It was poorly marketed and executed and was being brought back after an eight year dormancy.
    Two things make 1996 a lot different from 2004.
    First, in 1996 NHL participation in the Olympics was two years away and I don't believe guaranteed at that point.
    The tournament was regarded as a continuation of the Canada Cup.
    By the time the 2004 tournament took place the NHL had already participated in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics.
    So there was a kind of a redundant feeling about this tournament coming just two years after Salt Lake.

    Also, there is a good reason why the media coverage in 2004 was somewhat muted.
    The tournament was overshadowed by a much bigger story...the impending NHL lockout.
    As it turned out, unfortunately, the 2004-05 NHL season began and ended with this tournament.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    I am not at all surprised Subban was left off the team.
    He was pretty much the forgotten man in Sochi and this past season was certainly not his best.
    Without Carey Price to bail him out Subban's high risk style was exposed on far too many occasions.
    Canada has no shortage of puck handling two way D men who are more responsible in their own end than PK.

    Interesting that Perry captained the gold medal winning team at the Worlds but isn't even invited.
    I guess Canada really is that deep.
    Only forward I am surprised didn't make the team was Taylor Hall. Ton of speed and arguably Canada's most consistent performer in 2 consecutive Worlc Championship. A little worried about Giroux being named not because of his skill but fact he just had not one, but 2 surgeries ( hip and groin ) that has a 10-12 week recovery period. Not exactly a recipe for getting into top shape by the beginning of September. Nevertheless this team is stacked top to bottom and if they perform on the ice as well as the team looks on paper, they should be there at the end

  34. #34
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Many Forum posters seem to be fairly negative about this tourney. Ok, so it isn't following many of the standard ways we are used to but why pre-judge? At the end, I think what most are interested in is whether the level of hockey will be at the high level we expect. for the most part, the best players in the World will be playing which is always a positive thing because it doesn't happen very often. Let's sit back and give these teams a chance to show what they can do. I bet if that happens, we'll forget about the negative talk and just watch good hockey

  35. #35
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Can't believe I missed the fact that Taylor Hall was left off of the Canadian team. He definitely should be on that roster. He's a real star despite being stuck on the Oilers.

    Insofar as the negative reaction, it's only that way on my part at least because of the inclusion of two non-national teams in what is supposed to be - what historically has been - a true international tournament. Don't call it the 'World Cup' and I'd be fine with it. Don't treat it as if it's a supposedly true international tournament and I'd be fine with it. Call it the 'NHL World Cup' and I'd be fine with it.

  36. #36
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Call it the 'NHL World Cup' and I'd be fine with it.
    Well, that's basically what it is. A tourney run by the NHL in agreement with the NHLPA. I don't see why the name branding of the tourney should be a factor in determining it legitimacy. I think it should be based on the level of hockey we will see and the level of players involved. Both are top end. Higher for sure than the IIHF WC. The fact that 2 of the teams are not National, doesn't remove those facts.

  37. #37
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Well, that's basically what it is. A tourney run by the NHL in agreement with the NHLPA. I don't see why the name branding of the tourney should be a factor in determining it legitimacy. I think it should be based on the level of hockey we will see and the level of players involved. Both are top end. Higher for sure than the IIHF WC. The fact that 2 of the teams are not National, doesn't remove those facts.
    Results table. Care to say something about that? These tournaments should also be about determining what's the top national team at that given moment. Which team is it, if a collection team wins? The runner-up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Many Forum posters seem to be fairly negative about this tourney. Ok, so it isn't following many of the standard ways we are used to but why pre-judge? At the end, I think what most are interested in is whether the level of hockey will be at the high level we expect. for the most part, the best players in the World will be playing which is always a positive thing because it doesn't happen very often. Let's sit back and give these teams a chance to show what they can do. I bet if that happens, we'll forget about the negative talk and just watch good hockey
    The majority of the teams involved did not have the opportunity to assemble their ideal rosters due to the creation of the U23 team and the insistence on including as many NHL players as possible. The NHL blatantly disregarded the international hockey community and the spirit of international competition when they really didn't need to. They never should have considered the fake teams and they should have collaborated with the IIHF and the rest of the international hockey community to create a worthwhile tournament.

    If it weren't so likely that NHL players will not be participating in future Olympics I might just be annoyed by this tournament. Instead, it represents the worst possible replacement and I have very little faith in the NHL to create something worthwhile out of it going forward. It's all a terrible series of events for anyone who is passionate about best on best international hockey.

  39. #39
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cagney View Post
    The majority of the teams involved did not have the opportunity to assemble their ideal rosters due to the creation of the U23 team and the insistence on including as many NHL players as possible.
    I don't think you are correct. So Canada, Sweden, Russia and USA don't have their ideal rosters because of the U23 North American and Europe teams. Perhaps the odd player but the vast majority of the teams have the opportunity to use their strongest sides which I think was the intention of the NHL anyway.

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Laho;284059]Results table. Care to say something about that? These tournaments should also be about determining what's the top national team at that given moment. Which team is it, if a collection team wins? The runner-up?[/QUOTE

    Yes, I concede if that is your priority, this tournament can't guarantee that goal would be reached. But by the same token, how many games have we seen at the WC and Olympics that simply aren't competitive? So should they invite some National teams that have practically no chance of winning?? I think the NHL's intention of combining a North American and Euro team using the best available NHL players provides that competitive advantage for the tournament overall. In the end, if the level of play is at a very high level, the results table / World Ranking is secondary.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The level of play will be 100% best of the best. Just don't call it a true international tournament because it's not. And it could have been been and in my opinion should have been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    The level of play will be 100% best of the best. Just don't call it a true international tournament because it's not. And it could have been been and in my opinion should have been.
    The players will be of the highest standard but will the play ? How motivated will they be, these are basically preseason games ? Might be more like all-star games rather than a full-blooded contest, nobody will want to get injured and miss the real event which follows.

    Geoff

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    IHF Member alberto's Avatar
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    I really wish that they had set up a small qualifying tournament with four teams(Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland and one other) and have the top 2 play in the World Cup instead of this nonsense of Team Europe and Team North America. I know, I know, this is a showcase for NHL players and nothing else. Still, I would have loved to see full national teams play instead of these ridiculous hybrids.

  44. #44
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffH View Post
    The players will be of the highest standard but will the play ? How motivated will they be, these are basically preseason games ? Might be more like all-star games rather than a full-blooded contest, nobody will want to get injured and miss the real event which follows.

    Geoff
    History of Canada Cups, Olympic Games, World Championships, shows that NHL teammates don't hold back and will play hard in order to win. There isn't any evidence that the World Cup will be any different. I do not believe these will be like all-star games where no one engages in any body contact /checking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    History of Canada Cups, Olympic Games, World Championships, shows that NHL teammates don't hold back and will play hard in order to win. There isn't any evidence that the World Cup will be any different. I do not believe these will be like all-star games where no one engages in any body contact /checking.
    But this event is very different from any of those others. It is for NHL players only and played pre-season. I'm still inclined to view them as exhibition games.

    Geoff

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffH View Post
    But this event is very different from any of those others. It is for NHL players only and played pre-season. I'm still inclined to view them as exhibition games.

    Geoff
    Canada Cups since first one in 1976 were played pre-season and were primarily NHL players and were very intensely played. So again I see no evidence this will be different

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Canada Cups since first one in 1976 were played pre-season and were primarily NHL players and were very intensely played. So again I see no evidence this will be different
    Back in 1976 it was really only Canada that could field a team that was primarily NHL players.

    Geoff

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffH View Post
    But this event is very different from any of those others. It is for NHL players only and played pre-season. I'm still inclined to view them as exhibition games.

    Geoff
    The Canada-Soviet Summit Series of 1972 were just 'exhibition games'...technically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    I don't think you are correct. So Canada, Sweden, Russia and USA don't have their ideal rosters because of the U23 North American and Europe teams. Perhaps the odd player but the vast majority of the teams have the opportunity to use their strongest sides which I think was the intention of the NHL anyway.
    Perhaps Canada was only mildly affected by the U23 team but the US was significantly affected.

    European countries were affected by pressure from the NHL to include as many NHL players as possible. The Swedes were probably least affected by this but the Russians, Finns and Czechs probably would have considered more European-based players without this pressure. You can say that the best players are present for these teams but that's only one part of assembling an ideal team.

  50. #50
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Yes, I concede if that is your priority, this tournament can't guarantee that goal would be reached. But by the same token, how many games have we seen at the WC and Olympics that simply aren't competitive? So should they invite some National teams that have practically no chance of winning?? I think the NHL's intention of combining a North American and Euro team using the best available NHL players provides that competitive advantage for the tournament overall. In the end, if the level of play is at a very high level, the results table / World Ranking is secondary.
    And if you look at the results of the past few olympic tournaments, you'll notice that the inclusion of the two next best national teams, namely Slovakia and Switzerland, would not have dropped the competitiveness factor one bit. Those two countries are no punching bags, especially if they have all their best players available. Their only "fault" from the POV of the tournament organizers is that too many of those players are not NHLers - ergo they are not marketable names.

    Given that the collection teams will be together for the first and last time in history, with practically zero preparation time, their cohesiveness is a HUGE question mark. The names on the players' backs being more known does not guarantee any higher level of play when compared to existing NTs that may have built up tons of chemistry over the years.

    Here's an idea: The next time the Stanley Cup playoffs roll around, maybe they should add two collection teams to the mix in each conference, comprised of the best players from the teams that failed to make it. I bet they'd be more competitive than the 2nd wild card winner. I also bet you'd be screaming sacrilege if that came to pass.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Canada Cups since first one in 1976 were played pre-season and were primarily NHL players and were very intensely played. So again I see no evidence this will be different
    How about looking at the list of participants for evidence? The inclusion of the two collection teams makes it very different. When players dress for an "international" tournament, they expect to be battling against other countries. There are no bragging rights to be gained for beating the non-country teams. But given how playing against them is not a mere exhibition sideshow, since they're "serious" participants of this event, the effect may spread on the entire tournament - it becomes far harder to take seriously.

    To put it simply, the collection teams rob the World Cup a ton of prestige, and when there is no prestige, the level of effort also drops. In the end it will be about the same as those Euro Hockey Tour games, only with better players - you may have some individuals in the mix with something to prove, but once all is said and done, very few folks care about who won and who lost. It's hard to see the players taking it awfully seriously in that kind of environment, especially since the NHL season opener is just around the corner.
    Last edited by Laho; 02-06-2016 at 04:11.
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