World Cup of Hockey could include Euro, Young Stars All-Star teams

World Cup of Hockey could include Euro, Young Stars All-Star teams

The World Cup of Hockey, set to return in Sept. 2016, has a numbers issue. 

There are enough NHL stars to populate six national teams: Canada, the U.S., Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. But it’s an eight-team tournament; do you bring in Switzerland? Germany? Slovakia? Latvia? None of them have the numbers to be total NHL rosters, without any Euro league or KHL players, and that’s the goal for this tournament: Have it controlled by the NHL and the NHLPA, and populated with its players. (Good luck with Russia, by the way.)

The solution? To have the other two teams in the tournament be all-star teams.

As Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported on Monday, the NHL is considering a Ryder Cup-style European All-Star team that would be comprised of players from nations that aren’t represented in the Big Six. Anze Kopitar, Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, Zdeno Chara, Jaroslav Halak, Jonas Hiller, Nino Niederreitter and others would star on this squad.

The other squad will also be an all-star team comprised of North American NHL players. I’ve heard two different concepts for this team, both of them intriguing:

North American Young Stars: Players under a certain age (let’s throw out 24 years old as a possibility) that don’t make the Canadian or American teams band together and try to take out their elders.

North American ‘B’ Team: Like something out of a Disney movie, all the North American players that were cut from the Canadian and American teams join together in a ragtag team of ‘B’ players.

Both of these rosters could be opened up to players outside of North America, but this is the concept I’ve heard.

In any case, it’s clear the NHL is not going with two other national teams to fill out the World Cup tournament. 

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