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2016 World Cup of Hockey schedule announced

Finalists will vie for championship in best-of-three series; Tickets go on sale Oct. 14

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 1:00 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

NHL Public Relations

TORONTO -- The National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) announced today the schedule for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. From Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016, eight teams -- Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America -- will compete in a best-on-best international hockey championship.

The two-week tournament, featuring more than 150 of the best players in the NHL, will progress from the Preliminary Round to the Semifinals and ultimately the Final. All tournament games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs®. Click here to sign up for ticket information, announcements and special offers.

Players already primed for 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 1:00 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016 Staff

TORONTO -- There is something special, NHL players will tell you, about wearing the jersey of your home nation.

With the return of the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, many NHL players will experience that cherished opportunity.

In a joint announcement by the NHLPA and the NHL on September 9 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, one attended by some of the game's biggest names, the international tournament had the players talking.

"I remember the first World Cup (1996) when the U.S. beat Canada," said Chicago captain and Winnipeg native Jonathan Toews, who won the 2006 and 2007 World Junior title with Canada, along with Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014. "The next one (2004), Canada won, so that was more enjoyable to watch, for sure. When you're a fan growing up, you take it so seriously. It’s always much more than hockey when you play at the international level. It's almost political bragging rights for everyone involved."

Lecavalier, Canada won every game at '04 World Cup

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 1:00 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

Eight years after losing the final of the first World Cup of Hockey at home, Canada wasn't about to let that happen again in 2004.

The second edition of the preseason best-on-best tournament involved the same eight nations and the same alignment as the 1996 tournament.

Canada, the United States, Russia and Slovakia were in the North American pool, which was played in Montreal, Toronto and St. Paul, Minn. Sweden, Finland, Germany and the Czech Republic formed the European pool, with games played in Stockholm, Helsinki, Cologne and Prague.

U.S. ended Canada's dominance at '96 World Cup

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 1:00 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

Sixteen years after the "Miracle on Ice" United States team shocked the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, a group of players spawned by the greatest upset in hockey history did something similar to Canada at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

The successor to the Canada Cup tournament was an eight-team event, the first best-on-best competition in five years.

The United States and Canada joined Russia and Slovakia in a North American pool, with games in New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Germany formed the European pool, which played games in Helsinki, Stockholm, Prague and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The top three teams in each group advanced to the quarterfinals, which were played in North America.

Team USA roster projection for World Cup of Hockey

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 1:00 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The United States has developed into one of the top hockey nations since winning the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, but it hasn't had a signature win in a best-on-best tournament since that 5-2 victory against Canada in Montreal.

The United States won the silver medal in two of the past five Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City, 2010 Vancouver) and the bronze medal three times at the IIHF World Championship (2004, 2013, 2015). It is coming off a disappointing 2014 Sochi Olympics, when it didn't score in losing to Canada in the semifinals (1-0) and to Finland in the bronze-medal game (5-0).

The Team USA roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey could look similar to the one it had in Sochi, with a few significant changes.

Here is what Team USA's roster could look like for the tournament, which will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto (alphabetically by position):

Team Canada roster projection for World Cup

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 1:00 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

Canada has won the Olympic gold medal twice in a row, and its performance in Sochi in 2014 was considered one of the most dominant of all time.

Canada allowed three goals and 129 shots on goal in six games, using a possession game to keep the puck away from its net and then counting on goaltender Carey Price when teams managed to mount any attack.

Powerful opponents like the United States and Sweden were left demoralized after shutout losses to Canada in the semifinal and final, respectively.

The core of that team should be back at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, with one very important addition, a player who missed the 2014 Olympics because of an injury (Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning) and some younger talent that has matured into dominant players refreshing the roster.

Here is what Team Canada's roster could look like for the tournament, which will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto (alphabetically by position):

Flyers' Giroux talks new coach, World Cup, Briere

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 12:21 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Claude Giroux had an eventful offseason.

The day after the Philadelphia Flyers captain had a goal and an assist in Canada's 6-1 victory against Russia in the gold-medal game at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, he learned the Flyers had hired 47-year-old Dave Hakstol as their new coach.

Later in the summer, his good friend and former teammate Daniel Briere announced his retirement.

Entering his eighth season with the Flyers, the 27-year-old Giroux was among a group of elite NHL players at the League's annual Player Media Tour on Wednesday.

Giroux spoke with about the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the Flyers, Briere and more in the following Q&A:

Plekanec's concern improving Canadiens, not contract

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 11:50 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec is entering the final year of his contract with the only NHL team he has ever known, but he said he's not worried about it.

Plekanec, who turns 33 on Oct. 31, is the Canadiens' top center, one who plays in all situations, faces top opposition on a regular basis, and is a consistent offensive producer. Plekanec has scored at least 20 goals in seven of his past eight full NHL seasons, not counting the 14 goals he scored in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, and he has missed 12 games because of injury in nine years.

He is a vastly important player to the Canadiens but has also reached an age when NHL forwards generally begin to decline.

Plekanec is aware of all these things but said he remains confident Canadiens general Marc Bergevin will eventually begin discussions with agent Rick Curran to bring him back.

With training camp looming, however, those talks have not begun.

"What am I supposed to do? I'm not going to ask them if they want me," Plekanec said Tuesday at the NHL Player Media Tour. "If they want me, they would call, I guess. Should I call and ask, 'Do you want me here?' I have a phone number. I think it's up to [Bergevin]. If he wants me, I'm sure he'll call the agent and start talking."

Seven questions surrounding World Cup of Hockey

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 10:53 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The countdown to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey has begun, which means answers to questions pertaining to coaches, rosters and depth charts for the eight participating teams will slowly start coming into focus.

The tournament is scheduled to begin Sept. 17 and end as late as Oct. 1. All games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Canada, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland are the six countries that will be represented. The field is rounded out by Team North America, an all-star team of players from Canada and the United States who are 23 years old or younger, and Team Europe, an all-star team featuring the top players from European countries that are not competing in the tournament, such as Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway, Austria, Latvia and Denmark.

Fantasy keeper leagues ripe with under-23 talent

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

If you're in a keeper league, chances are Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Tyler Seguin, Claude Giroux and the like are already on a roster heading into your draft for the 2015-16 season.

If you're fortunate enough to own one of the upper-echelon fantasy producers, you may be willing to reach for Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers or Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres to add to your keeper group.

The two highly touted rookies aren't the only young players I think you should target in keeper leagues, though. There's elite talent you can get in later rounds.

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Quote of the Day

Every D-man who comes from Sweden has watched him play. He was my idol growing up and he's the reason I started to play 'D.'

— Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
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