Really die hard fans know all to well what a tournament of this intensity, dedication, and patriotism, other than the Olympics. The World Cup of Hockey, to me is a prelude, a sort of rough draft of what we could potentially see in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. That is a year and a half away, but for now we get the next best thing, World Cup hockey in the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs backyard.
This is where we will be seeing Auston Matthews, the number one overall pick in this past years draft. What a better stage to make a debut in than this….. an international tournament against thee, thee best players today in the league.
With that being said, we’ve haven’t had a WCH since 2004. Which Canada won, in 96 the inaugural WCH tournament, U.S. upset Canada, which was held in Montreal, the mecca of hockey for all. The 96 was one for the ages, huge generational talent for the U.S. Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Doug Weight, and John Leclair.
These guys were the ones who had highlights almost every night. I remember these guys playing against each when I was a kid. Leetch in the heydays of the Rangers, Leclair with the Flyers, these guys were some of the top U.S. talent in the league, oh I’m sorry Rangers fan I almost forgot about the wall that was Mike Richter.
Also watching guys like Mats Sundin who was one of the best Maple Leafs all time, Sergei Federov, and Alex Mogilny tearing it up for Russia. Seeing them battle it out for the Cup was always exciting, but seeing international play other than the Olympics was something special, who’s the best in the world.
We hear the term soccer hooligans, well this puckhead is a hockey hooligan. This year, is another chance for the NHL, and hockey foremost to gain fans that never really watched at all. With guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, Benn, Stamkos, Kane, Tarasenko, Lundqvist, Oshie, and Pavelski coming from all over the league, this is the creme de la creme.
This has generational talent all through it in different stages of players careers, we get to see Auston Mathews make a debut in Toronto where we will be playing, teammates battling it out, Toews Canada, Kane U.S., Chicago’s faces of their franchise, Crosby, Canada, Malkin, Russia, Cup champs in the Burgh, Getzlaf, Canada, and Kesler, U.S. playing for the Ducks. Point is we’re going to see some good hockey, hands done, Molsons up! Here’s where Country matters, and not the teams……… FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!