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World Cup

World Cup will be held in 2020 and beyond

NHL, players committed to making tournament ongoing event

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

TORONTO -- As preparations for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey hit overdrive Wednesday with the announcements of partial rosters for all eight teams, organizers announced the tournament will take place in 2020 and beyond.

"We're committed to multiple tournaments on a regular schedule," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday during a press conference to promote the 2016 tournament, which will take place here from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1. "Yes, we are committed for '20."

Donald Fehr, the executive director of the National Hockey League Players' Association, said the tournament will only grow as it moves forward.

"The plan was to establish an ongoing event, establish the brand, establish the identity and go forward with it," he said. "The prior World Cups were great events in and of themselves, but they didn't have the staying power that doing it regularly provides."

The first two World Cups were eight years apart, in 1996 and 2004. This edition is the first in a dozen years.

Organizers admitted the format in the future may not be the same and much will be dependent on an exhaustive debrief that will happen at the conclusion of the 2016 tournament.

While the first two versions of the World Cup were best-on-best competitions featuring the top eight national teams in the world, the 2016 version has been tweaked slightly. The United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden are still sending their national teams, but the other two teams are different. Team North America is comprised of the best under-24 players from the United States and Canada, while Team Europe will be an amalgamation of players from European countries not sending their national teams to this tournament.

"I think we made a couple of decisions, for various reasons, that changed up this tournament, in respect to what we did in 2004 and 1996," Daly said. "We obviously want to see how that works, what's good and what's bad.  

"Obviously, the most significant thing is having all the games in Toronto. It's certainly a different approach than we took in 2004 and 1996. We'll see how that works out."

The organizers did not commit to a single-city host format similar to the one they are using this time around.

Again, they say the experiences from the upcoming tournament will determine the path they take for 2020.

"What my hope is, and what my personal expectation is, is this will be seen as a significant enough event and a beneficial enough event for the cities that will have a lot of interest," Fehr said. "Exactly how you would go about ferreting out that interest, we have to work through."

Daly also said things are moving forward well for the 2016 tournament, which will be held in Air Canada Centre.

He noted Wednesday the day-long celebration of initial rosters was the first big promotional push made since the 2015-16 NHL season started.

"I think based on what we have done to promote the event to this point in time, we are very pleased with where we are and we have every expectation that this is going to be a fantastic event, sold out and extremely popular here in Toronto," Daly said. "There is always a delicate balance because you have an NHL season going on as well, so it is tough to find the sweet spot in the schedule to really go out hard promoting this event. We hope we found that in March, but soon enough the attention is going to turn to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where it should be. We'll have the summer to build into this tournament."

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