"(Y)ou'll be happy to hear the NHL and the NHL Players' Association are working toward staging another World Cup of Hockey tournament in the not-too-distant future.In MLB's case, Bud Selig and the boys want to build up the World Baseball Classic and keep the revenues for themselves. It's more preferable than being a supplicant to the International Olympic Committee, which is full of foreigners who don't understand freedom, liberty or why the second baseman doesn't have to touch the bag when he's turning the double play.
"According to an informed source, the sides are looking at two dates, the most probable being late August or early September 2011. Another possibility is February 2012. That date, however, is less likely because the 2011-12 NHL regular season would have to be shut down to accommodate the tournament. The owners aren't thrilled with the idea of dimming the lights during the season for any reason. They do so grudgingly to allow the players to participate in the Olympics. In this case, I believe they'd be wise to at least consider it." -- ESPN.com
One can see why hockey might be headed down the same road, where they're not buying the notion that participating in the Olympics serves any noble purpose. It's isolationist and greedy, sure, but the noblest purpose for the NHL these days is trying to stay at 30 teams. Given the ongoing COC-up over the crest on Canada's hockey jerseys, one wonders what side Hockey Canada would be on if the NHL decides to end the Dream Team experiment which began 11 years ago in Nagano.
One completely crackers suggestion for the Olympic hockey tournament: Once every four years, fold the world juniors into the Games. Teenagers represent their country in other sports all the time.
NHL, union continue World Cup of Hockey talks (E.J. Hradek, ESPN.com; via Kukla's Korner)