We are a little over two weeks away from the World Cup of hockey in Toronto. The first World Cup tournament since 2004, it will now be held every four years. Before the World Cup there was the Canada Cup, which was ran from 1976 to 1991. The first World Cup tournament in 1996, was won by the U.S., with Mike Madano, Brian Leetch and Mike Ritcher leading the way.
This is a great time for the NHL to reintroduce the tournament, especially with the crop of players in the league now. With youngsters and veterans like Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Toews, Kane, Hossa, Getzlaf and Lundquivst representing their home country, fan interest will be at its peak. New stars are drafted every year and holding this tournament every four years could bring hockey back to prominence. Talent like this has been around since Gretzky and Lemeiux graced the ice in the 80’s and early 90’s, and it has been supplemented by the stars of today. Personally watching the old school guys like Hasek in net, who was my idol, and others like Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, Jeremy Roenick, Scott Stevens, Ron Francis, and Mark Messier was a real treat. There were so many stars at that time who left their mark on the game. Most of these guys are Hall of Famer’s, Cup winners and wearers of Olympic Gold.
There are Junior International Tourney’s for kids 18 and under but for twelve years we didn’t have a tournament that we are going to see in the coming weeks. While everyone else will be watching NFL and College football, I’ll be watching Team USA and the other nations battle it out for International supremacy. So to my puckheads, grab a cold beverage and cheer on USA, it’s going to be a action packed tournament with the creme de la creme of the NHL and other elite leagues around the globe!