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World Cup of Hockey


thecoffeecake
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The World Cup is less than nine months away, and teams will be announcing a 16 man roster on March, 2nd. In less than a month these 8 teams are going to start to take shape, and the rest of the rosters will be announced no later than June 1st.

With the first roster announcements coming up, I decided to do a Team USA roster projection for New York Puck, and thought I'd get the conversation started here about the tournament. Are you guys looking forward to the tournament? Do you like the format? Obviously Canada will be the favorite at home, but I think the U.S has the talent to compete for gold, and Finland will always be in the conversation. I am not sure how Tortorella will work out, and having the U23 North American team involved costs Team USA a player or two that would have been major contributors.

Here's my article and projection; what would your Team USA look like? I would also like to see what people think the other 7 squads will look like.

http://newyorkpuck.com/2016/01/26/projecting-2016-world-cup-of-hockey-rosters-team-usa/

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So far, I'm feeling pretty indifferent to the World Cup.  Obviously the 1996 tournament was great and my Dad took me to a few Canada Cup games in the 80's that were played in Hartford that I really enjoyed, but this one just has a money grab feeling to it so much more than the others...like Stadium Series bad. 

I realize for the NHL, dealing with the IOC is probably a lot like negotiating with Sepp Blatter but I just can't get into this knowing that this is probably their way to replace the Winter Olympics. Hockey isn't like soccer where the world just stops to watch their standalone tournament.  IMO, the best on best world hockey tournament is made so much more important as part of that bigger thing that is the Olympics.  Hasn't Russia already come out and said they could care less about this tournament?  I assume other European counties will continue to be more concerned with the World Championships.  I think the World Cup is going to be just like the World Juniors (which I love) where no one but Canada even gives a damn.  Is it really even a best on best if a few guys who would otherwise be on their national teams are playing for the young stars?   Much like the juniors, when a country gets eliminated, we'll have to hear about the players the national squads didn't have like McDavid, Eichel and Ekblad.  

Also, the timing of the tournament sucks.  As much as the NHL hates shutting down, February is the perfect time to get attention in the US because football is over, march madness and baseball haven't started and the NHL and NBA are in the grind of their season.  When this World Cup occurs, it seems like everyone but hardcore hockey fans will be more worried about the stretch run in baseball and filling out the fantasy football teams than the world cup of hockey.   

Sorry, this probably wasn't the reaction you were looking for but by the time this rolls around, I think I'll probably be more worried about college football and how Shero is filling out the roster.      

 

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As for your article, I think the lineup is pretty good with a few comments:

1.  I can't imagine that Kessel doesn't get a significant role on offense. He was pretty good during the Olympics and I think he's a better one dimensional scorer than Bobby Ryan.    

2.  I would take half of the guys you listed on the bubble for the defense over Jack Johnson.   I know he has all the physical tools but that dude doesn't think the game at a high enough level to play in games with this much talent. 

3.  Similar to #2, is McDonough in by merit or past reputation?   I'm leaning towards Trouba, Fowler and Greene.    

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7 hours ago, Lateralous said:

So far, I'm feeling pretty indifferent to the World Cup.  Obviously the 1996 tournament was great and my Dad took me to a few Canada Cup games in the 80's that were played in Hartford that I really enjoyed, but this one just has a money grab feeling to it so much more than the others...like Stadium Series bad. 

I realize for the NHL, dealing with the IOC is probably a lot like negotiating with Sepp Blatter but I just can't get into this knowing that this is probably their way to replace the Winter Olympics. Hockey isn't like soccer where the world just stops to watch their standalone tournament.  IMO, the best on best world hockey tournament is made so much more important as part of that bigger thing that is the Olympics.  Hasn't Russia already come out and said they could care less about this tournament?  I assume other European counties will continue to be more concerned with the World Championships.  I think the World Cup is going to be just like the World Juniors (which I love) where no one but Canada even gives a damn.  Is it really even a best on best if a few guys who would otherwise be on their national teams are playing for the young stars?   Much like the juniors, when a country gets eliminated, we'll have to hear about the players the national squads didn't have like McDavid, Eichel and Ekblad.  

Also, the timing of the tournament sucks.  As much as the NHL hates shutting down, February is the perfect time to get attention in the US because football is over, march madness and baseball haven't started and the NHL and NBA are in the grind of their season.  When this World Cup occurs, it seems like everyone but hardcore hockey fans will be more worried about the stretch run in baseball and filling out the fantasy football teams than the world cup of hockey.   

Sorry, this probably wasn't the reaction you were looking for but by the time this rolls around, I think I'll probably be more worried about college football and how Shero is filling out the roster.      

 

This could end up replacing the Olympics as the only major international tournament. Whether you like the format or not, it may be the only event going forward that we get to see countries' best competing against each other in. International hockey isn't only exciting, it's a gauge of how your country is developing as a hockey nation, and it's important to support. Obviously this is an NHL cash-grab, but what do you think the Olympics and FIFA World Cup have become? Have you watched the Super Bowl or the football National Championship game in the last 10 years? Just because these events have existed longer doesn't mean they're any less gimmicky. I don't like the U23 team at all, but it's just a formatting error they can correct going forward. I personally think we should have the World Cup and NHL Olympic participation in alternating years. International hockey competition at that kind of stage is too infrequent. More top end players are going to the World Championships, but unless they move it to July, it will never be the kind of event that satisfies high-caliber international hockey competition for anyone.

Yea, a lot of things about the World Cup suck, but sometimes you need to see through the gimmicks for what an event is; this is major international hockey tournament with the best players in the world involved, and these kinds of events come around infrequently enough that hockey fans should make sure they're watching. We don't get the Gold Cup, the Confederations Cup, the FIFA World Cup, and the Confederations Cup to watch every year that soccer does.

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7 hours ago, Lateralous said:

As for your article, I think the lineup is pretty good with a few comments:

1.  I can't imagine that Kessel doesn't get a significant role on offense. He was pretty good during the Olympics and I think he's a better one dimensional scorer than Bobby Ryan.    

2.  I would take half of the guys you listed on the bubble for the defense over Jack Johnson.   I know he has all the physical tools but that dude doesn't think the game at a high enough level to play in games with this much talent. 

3.  Similar to #2, is McDonough in by merit or past reputation?   I'm leaning towards Trouba, Fowler and Greene.    

Bobby Ryan is always a guy I seem to think started to decline after his 24 year old season and forget about. Last year him and Kessel had almost identical numbers, and this year Bobby is scoring at about a 30% better rate than Kessel is. I would give Ryan the bigger role over Kessel if I'm putting the team together.

As for Jack Johnson, yea, that could easily be someone else. I juggled him in and out a few times when I was putting this together. I am not necessarily putting together what I think are the best 23 guys, I am trying to project what Tortorella and Lombardi are going to assemble. I may or may not put Jack Johnson on my roster, but I have a feeling Tortorella will. You know the identity they're going to cultivate with this team. It's going to be a strong defensive group, and the fact that they're playing these games on a smaller ice works to Jack Johnson's advantage. It also helps that Tortorella knows him and sees him every day. Whether that has much weight or any at all, I'm not really too sure, but when Torts is thinking for a strong left sided third pairing defenseman to shut down top opposing players, Jack Johnson will be one of the first guys he thinks about. As for McDonagh, I think he's as capable as he was in 2014. He has spent a lot of this season cleaning up Girardi's messes. I saw some numbers earlier in the season that suggested McDonagh is a lot better playing next to anyone else. And there's another Tortorella connection. When you bring up merit or reputation, that's exactly what I thought with Cam Fowler. I don't see Anaheim play all the time, but when I first the defense together and he was on it, I thought I was just including him because I felt like I had to. Has he done enough this year to earn a spot over Johnson or McDonagh? I think Andy Greene would be the next guy to take one of those spots.

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corruption, greed, and unbelievable costs have sent the Olympics to basically only to be hosted by totalitarian and/or corrupt 3rd world regimes.  The problem is Winter Olympics can only take place in certain areas and its heart is in ski villages in Europe or North America but those areas have loudly given the IOC the finger in the last year over the above issues.  The next 2 Winter games are to be in Asia and will do the NHL nothing (old folks like myself remember 3 a.m. Games from Nagano in 98 whch was brutal).

i don't like the set up of the World Cup but I understand what the NHL wants.  Unfortunately unlike the soccer World Cup the stacked team in hockey could put a 20-spot on some lower division international team a la the ole CCCP would do on the Japan's, Holland's, and Romania's of the world.  The last thing the NHL wants is Canada to put a 10-spot on Kazakstan and rip credibility from the tournament.

i know the NHL has asked the IOC to move hockey to the Summer Olympics and were rejected due to hockey's status as the games' biggest cash cow.  It sucks that the "winter sport" NBA gets the added advantage of playing their international tournaments in the summer offseason and that hockey is pigeon holed into the Wnter Games.  This is why the World Cup route is the one the NHL is pushing.

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22 minutes ago, MDPucks said:

corruption, greed, and unbelievable costs have sent the Olympics to basically only to be hosted by totalitarian and/or corrupt 3rd world regimes.  The problem is Winter Olympics can only take place in certain areas and its heart is in ski villages in Europe or North America but those areas have loudly given the IOC the finger in the last year over the above issues.  The next 2 Winter games are to be in Asia and will do the NHL nothing (old folks like myself remember 3 a.m. Games from Nagano in 98 whch was brutal).

i don't like the set up of the World Cup but I understand what the NHL wants.  Unfortunately unlike the soccer World Cup the stacked team in hockey could put a 20-spot on some lower division international team a la the ole CCCP would do on the Japan's, Holland's, and Romania's of the world.  The last thing the NHL wants is Canada to put a 10-spot on Kazakstan and rip credibility from the tournament.

i know the NHL has asked the IOC to move hockey to the Summer Olympics and were rejected due to hockey's status as the games' biggest cash cow.  It sucks that the "winter sport" NBA gets the added advantage of playing their international tournaments in the summer offseason and that hockey is pigeon holed into the Wnter Games.  This is why the World Cup route is the one the NHL is pushing.

Canada plays teams like Switzerland and Denmark in the World Juniors, and yea, they win most of those games, but they're competitive.

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The problem with Switzerland and Denmark is that at a best on best tournament they play a ridiculously bland, boring style of hockey.  I'm delighted the NHL booted them out of this tournament.  And I'd be fine if the NHL didn't bother anymore with the Olympics - there've been some great Olympic games to be sure, but shutting down the NHL season and compressing the schedule is a big thing, and to do it to hold some tournament halfway around the world that very few people are going to be able to watch live - it doesn't make sense.

I know they've said that in 2020 the other teams are coming back, and the mishmash team and YoungStars team are an imperfect solution for the problem that the world doesn't have 8 elite hockey countries.  I'm still looking forward to the tournament though - it's going to be fun, high-skill hockey.

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10 hours ago, Triumph said:

The problem with Switzerland and Denmark is that at a best on best tournament they play a ridiculously bland, boring style of hockey.  I'm delighted the NHL booted them out of this tournament.  And I'd be fine if the NHL didn't bother anymore with the Olympics - there've been some great Olympic games to be sure, but shutting down the NHL season and compressing the schedule is a big thing, and to do it to hold some tournament halfway around the world that very few people are going to be able to watch live - it doesn't make sense.

I know they've said that in 2020 the other teams are coming back, and the mishmash team and YoungStars team are an imperfect solution for the problem that the world doesn't have 8 elite hockey countries.  I'm still looking forward to the tournament though - it's going to be fun, high-skill hockey.

The Olympics are a great showcase for high end hockey talent. The ratings for Olympic hockey games are good...better than any bland mid season Preds/Panthers game.

 

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1 hour ago, '7' said:

The Olympics are a great showcase for high end hockey talent. The ratings for Olympic hockey games are good...better than any bland mid season Preds/Panthers game.

 

Not when the games are in Kazakhstan or China they're not, the games would be on at 1 in the morning.  Let the NHL stop when the games are in North America or Europe again.  Which they won't be ever again because the IOC is unspeakably corrupt.  

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4 minutes ago, Triumph said:

Not when the games are in Kazakhstan or China they're not, the games would be on at 1 in the morning.  Let the NHL stop when the games are in North America or Europe again.  Which they won't be ever again because the IOC is unspeakably corrupt.  

Well that's another story. For the most part the winter Olympic games are to be produced, watched, and enjoyed by developed first world countries in warm living rooms on 3 or 4k TV's and the prime events should be at times most convenient to people in the US and Europe

2018 is South Korea. All hockey games for our primetime would be in the morning for South Korea. Tough but doable.

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21 hours ago, thecoffeecake said:

This could end up replacing the Olympics as the only major international tournament. Whether you like the format or not, it may be the only event going forward that we get to see countries' best competing against each other in. International hockey isn't only exciting, it's a gauge of how your country is developing as a hockey nation, and it's important to support. Obviously this is an NHL cash-grab, but what do you think the Olympics and FIFA World Cup have become? Have you watched the Super Bowl or the football National Championship game in the last 10 years? Just because these events have existed longer doesn't mean they're any less gimmicky.

I understand the dynamics of everything you stated but what do you want me to tell you?  I'm not trying to start a protest against the World Cup or anything.  By the time it rolls around, I might even watch a few games.  It's just that what they've proposed holds absolutely no appeal to me. 

Also, I disagree with the bolded part.  They have their problems and it's a short tournament but I don't really find the hockey at the Winter Olympics gimmicky at all.  There's a lot of history to it that I do think makes competing for a gold medal so much more important to both the players and their countries. I really don't see anyone in the World Cup having 1/10th the pressure to win that Russia did in '14 or Canada in '10 which is part of the appeal.  

I realize the World Cup might be the only option going forward IF I really need to watch some form of nation on nation tournaments.   That sucks but since you brought up the NFL, a good comparison for me is when the NFL took away my Cleveland Browns. They replaced it with some sh***y franchise a few years later that I was told was the same thing but it really wasn't.  Uniforms are the same, history book is the same, etc.  The players, the management and even the various transactions I followed for years were all different.  Obviously it's now my only option to see pro football in Cleveland and while I might watch parts of games in the background, I've never sat down and watched a full game since.   

Anyway, I will refrain from cluttering this tread up with any more anti-world cup posts.  I was originally just responding to the question about anyone looking forward to it.   

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lateralous
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1 hour ago, '7' said:

Well that's another story. For the most part the winter Olympic games are to be produced, watched, and enjoyed by developed first world countries in warm living rooms on 3 or 4k TV's and the prime events should be at times most convenient to people in the US and Europe

2018 is South Korea. All hockey games for our primetime would be in the morning for South Korea. Tough but doable.

Except this won't be the case for the next 2 Winter Olympics and probably not the next 3.  It makes no sense to have hockey players adjust to the time change and then play hockey in the morning, something they never do.  The IOC would never spring for it either.

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I'm a bit different in terms of what I like about the tournament. I think the idea of having the Under 23 is good. That team will have plenty of young talent and should be fun to watch. The prospect of Eichel, McDavid, Larkin, Domi and Johnny Hockey on the same roster is exciting. Plus Hellebuyck in net. And MacKinnon headlining it.

As for the Olympics, I don't see them ever getting out. They get so much exposure. 

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21 hours ago, Derek21 said:

I'm a bit different in terms of what I like about the tournament. I think the idea of having the Under 23 is good. That team will have plenty of young talent and should be fun to watch. The prospect of Eichel, McDavid, Larkin, Domi and Johnny Hockey on the same roster is exciting. Plus Hellebuyck in net. And MacKinnon headlining it.

As for the Olympics, I don't see them ever getting out. They get so much exposure. 

What it sounds like is if they think it'll be a good way to market the league in Asia, they'll do it. The 98 Nagano games didn't have the effect they thought it would, so they're on the fence about the next 2.

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On 1/28/2016 at 11:33 AM, '7' said:

The Olympics are a great showcase for high end hockey talent. The ratings for Olympic hockey games are good...better than any bland mid season Preds/Panthers game.

 

Agreed.  However, remember the original intent.  The hope was by getting on the Olympics stage, the people who watch hockey only during the Olympics would see the players, and then gain an interest in the NHL.  However, it hasn't happened after 5 tries.  They have never seen a spike in ratings, ticket sales, or merchandise sales after an Olympics which is what they were hoping.  The Olympics tend to give people a sense of patriotism.  How much interest is their in swimming other than the Olympics?  Figure Skating? Gymnastics?  Michael Phelps was huge news in the Olympics.  When was the last time you or someone you know watched one of his races besides the Olympics?  Same with the 2 US Women's Gymnastics team of 96 and 2012.  I can't even tell you the last time a big gymnastics event was broadcast on tv, let alone any of the results.  For those who do not watch hockey all year round, it is the same thing.

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On 1/28/2016 at 3:08 PM, Lateralous said:

I understand the dynamics of everything you stated but what do you want me to tell you?  I'm not trying to start a protest against the World Cup or anything.  By the time it rolls around, I might even watch a few games.  It's just that what they've proposed holds absolutely no appeal to me. 

Also, I disagree with the bolded part.  They have their problems and it's a short tournament but I don't really find the hockey at the Winter Olympics gimmicky at all.  There's a lot of history to it that I do think makes competing for a gold medal so much more important to both the players and their countries. I really don't see anyone in the World Cup having 1/10th the pressure to win that Russia did in '14 or Canada in '10 which is part of the appeal.  

I realize the World Cup might be the only option going forward IF I really need to watch some form of nation on nation tournaments.   That sucks but since you brought up the NFL, a good comparison for me is when the NFL took away my Cleveland Browns. They replaced it with some sh***y franchise a few years later that I was told was the same thing but it really wasn't.  Uniforms are the same, history book is the same, etc.  The players, the management and even the various transactions I followed for years were all different.  Obviously it's now my only option to see pro football in Cleveland and while I might watch parts of games in the background, I've never sat down and watched a full game since.   

Anyway, I will refrain from cluttering this tread up with any more anti-world cup posts.  I was originally just responding to the question about anyone looking forward to it.   

 

 

 

 

The Browns situation is completely different.  This new franchise has been terribly mis-managed, while the Ravens have won 2 Super Bowls.  However, it is still NFL football.  If the Browns were a better team, you'd likely be a lot more interested.

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2016 at 0:53 PM, Matteau#32 said:

The Browns situation is completely different.  This new franchise has been terribly mis-managed, while the Ravens have won 2 Super Bowls.  However, it is still NFL football.  If the Browns were a better team, you'd likely be a lot more interested.

I think it's exactly the same.   I was originally responding to the point that it might soon be my only opportunity to see country vs country using NHL players.  If it's a product like the Olympics where there is history and passion and every country wants to win, I'm all in.  If it's a half a$$ed product with only 6 actual national squads and probably only one country that actually cares about winning it, I might just elect to not to invest much effort into the inferior product.   

Sorry, I said I was done clogging up this thread.  Now I'm really done.    

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1 hour ago, Lateralous said:

I think it's exactly the same.   I was originally responding to the point that it might soon be my only opportunity to see country vs country using NHL players.  If it's a product like the Olympics where there is history and passion and every country wants to win, I'm all in.  If it's a half a$$ed product with only 6 actual national squads and probably only one country that actually cares about winning it, I might just elect to not to invest much effort into the inferior product.   

Sorry, I said I was done clogging up this thread.  Now I'm really done.    

No one who will be taking the ice isn't going to be there to win. Everyone's going to want to win this tournament.

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I think it's exactly the same.   I was originally responding to the point that it might soon be my only opportunity to see country vs country using NHL players.  If it's a product like the Olympics where there is history and passion and every country wants to win, I'm all in.  If it's a half a$$ed product with only 6 actual national squads and probably only one country that actually cares about winning it, I might just elect to not to invest much effort into the inferior product.   

Sorry, I said I was done clogging up this thread.  Now I'm really done.    

If the NHL stops going to the Olympics, which I think is a very good chance, then this tournament could become the new best on best for Int'l hockey.  But, if you don't want to watch, then don't watch.  That is how I feel about this current format, but come September, I might tune in.  

I also do not understand how you say there is a lot of tradition and history with the Olympic tournament.  NHL players have been going only since 1998.  What is going on now does not compare to anything pre-1988, including the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well Larsson is not in the top 16 for Sweden ( or top 6d ) so far.

Here's is the preliminary roster:

Forwards - Backstrom, Eriksson, Forsberg, Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado), D. Sedin, H. Sedin, Alexander Steen (St. Louis) and Henrik Zetterberg(Detroit).

Defense - Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona), Hedman, Niklas Hjalmarsson(Chicago), Karlsson, Kronwall, Stralman.

Goalies - Lundqvist and Markstrom.

I'm assuming John Klingberg is next in line over Larsson too, not sure if they'll go with 8dmen? 

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