NHL’s Global Series is another bad attempt at a World Cup


Why Can’t the NHL Get International Tournaments Right?

The concept of an international hockey tournament seems simple enough. Get the best players from around the world, split them into teams, and let the games begin. However, the NHL has struggled to execute this seemingly straightforward idea. While I may not have an in-depth understanding of the logistics involved, it’s clear that the NHL has encountered numerous obstacles when it comes to organizing international tournaments.

One of the main issues is timing. While the NHL season typically begins in October, players have shown a preference for the Olympic window, which takes place before the season starts. This allows them to be fresh and gives teams an opportunity to practice and prepare. In contrast, the World Baseball Classic faces challenges such as pitching limits and players not wanting to disrupt their ramp-up to the season. Therefore, the February window seems to be the more sensible choice for an international hockey tournament.

Another hurdle the NHL faces is the inclusion of all the top international teams. Russia, despite its dominance in the sport, has often been omitted from international tournaments due to various reasons. However, there are other countries, such as Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, and Latvia, that could be included to ensure a competitive field. It’s essential to have a diverse range of teams to make the tournament truly representative of the global hockey community.

Unfortunately, the NHL has struggled to create successful international tournaments in the past. The World Cup, for example, has never lived up to expectations. The 2016 edition was particularly disappointing, with the inclusion of gimmick teams and a poorly constructed US team. The tournament lacked the prestige and authenticity of a true international competition.

Now, the NHL is once again attempting to organize a four-nation tournament for 2025, as a preview to the upcoming Olympics in 2026. However, many fans are skeptical about its success. It’s simply not worth interrupting the season for a mini-tournament that may lack momentum and fail to capture the general public’s attention. Instead, the NHL could consider a best-of-five series between the US and Canada, played across the continent during the All-Star break. This would generate excitement and guarantee sell-out crowds in hockey-crazed cities.

If the NHL cannot execute an international tournament properly, perhaps it’s better to wait for a suitable gap in the schedule to organize a World Cup that truly showcases the best teams in the world. However, the NHL’s track record suggests that not doing something well has never stopped them from attempting it anyway. Despite the challenges, fans remain hopeful that the NHL will eventually figure out how to deliver a successful and captivating international hockey tournament.

In the end, the desire for an international tournament remains strong among fans and players alike. The NHL must overcome its logistical and organizational hurdles to create a competition that truly reflects the global talent and passion for the sport. Only then will hockey enthusiasts experience the thrill and excitement of a truly world-class tournament.

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