The NHL boasts the best hockey players on the planet, but in recent years, they’ve largely been unable to participate in the international competitions that allow them to represent their home country on the ice—although that may soon change thanks to a big development related to the World Cup of Hockey and the Winter Olympics.
1998 marked the first year NHL players were given the chance to participate in the Olympic Games, but concerns over pausing the season and which organizations would cover travel and insurance costs means they’ve been unable to make the trek since gathering in Sochi in 2014.
While the league attempted to fill that void by giving players the green light to participate in the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, the fate of that tournament has been up in the air since it was called off in 2020 courtesy of the pandemic.
Thankfully, it appears the NHL is (finally) doing what it can to cater to the many fans (and players) who’ve been eager to see the world’s top talent play for national pride.
On Wednesday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly announced the league is working in conjunction with the NHLPA to allow players to make their grand return to both of those aforementioned competitions as it gears up to organize another international tournament that’s tentatively scheduled to kick off in 2025, saying:
“So, if we do a ’25 international tournament, we do the ’26 Olympics, the ’28 World Cup of Hockey, the ’30 Olympics, the ’32 World Cup of Hockey, and so on.
That’s the goal.”
While the NHL is understandably weary about players being injured in international play, it would be a very welcome change for fans clamoring to see the format return as well as plenty of players (including Connor McDavid, fellow Canadian Sidney Crosby, and some notable names on the Bruins) who’ve made it clear they’re very interested in participating.