SOCHI -- The NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association could potentially hold a World Cup of Hockey in future years without disrupting its recent practice of having players participate in the Winter Olympics, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday.
"Yes, it's a possibility," Daly said.
The League and the NHLPA have been having ongoing discussions about the potential of bringing back the World Cup of Hockey, which has not been played since 2004. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday negotiations for player participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics have not yet begun.
"The fact of the matter is, whatever we decide to do I believe in the not-too-distant future the NHL and NHLPA will be in a position to talk about other international initiatives that we're discussing, including bringing back the World Cup," Commissioner Bettman said. "We see international competition on the horizon; it's really just a question of what the format will be."
Neither Commissioner Bettman nor NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr were willing to give a strict time frame on when an announcement regarding the World Cup would be made, but the NHL and the Players' Association seem intent on making it part of their future international calendar.
Commissioner Bettman and Fehr took part in a news conference Tuesday with International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
"The World Cup is a piece of an international presence that we want to have," Daly said. "There are a lot of possibilities."
Fehr said the decision on whether to attend the 2018 Games does not have to be made before the decision on holding a World Cup.
"They're completely stand-alone events," he said.