Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by ShaneDoan, Jun 9, 2007.
When it will be? 2008? or 2012 or later..?
I don't there another one is in the plans at the moment.
Anything scheduled for 2008 would have been announced by now.
But again, I think the World Cup should be dropped altogether in favor of continued Olympic participation due to the fact that the World Cup has NO world reach, whereas the Olympics does.
Outside of Canada, Sweden and Finland, the World Cup is basically a rumor to the casual fans in every other country in the world, including those participating (esp USA, RUS, CZE, GER). Whereas the Olympics get air time almost everywhere.
Look what has happened to the hockey world since Nagano '98 which none of you would have bet on prior to 1997:
An elite goalie gets devoloped out of France (Huet)
A 42 goal-scorer from Austria (Vanek)
Kopitar from Slovenia
Hungarians starting to get drafted by NHL teams (about 4 so far, but it's a start)
2 Norweigans in the league last year (Thoresen and Tollefsen)
Belarus is developing as well as a hockey power
With this, hockey is gaining more media coverage in each of these countries, and the NHL sees this with jersey sales etc.
When you mention Vanek: He could have played for Slovakia, I even saw a photo of him in a Slovak jersey but our hockey federation didnt try to get him .
I think that the World Cup is fairly well received by Hockey fans in the US...There was Media Coverage...USA Games were well attended + televised... For Yanks, It's bigger than the so called World Championships, that's for sure...
I could be wrong...But I think the World Cup is also fairly popular among Euro fans in the Big 7 Hockey Nations...After all, it doesn't come very often ( again unlike the WC which really shouldn't be played in OG years ...imo ) ...Likewise, the World Cup is truly a best vs. best competition ( or at least very very close to it ) which makes it pretty special...I watched every 2004 World Cup game I could & thoroughly enjoyed every damn one...GREAT HOCKEY !!! Hope we see it ressurected ...maybe after 2010...
We need a 2008 IIHF World Cup !!!
Contuining the tournament only helps make the US's victory over Canada in the 1996 edition that muuch greater!
The IIHF needs drop the annual World Championship's, once a year is too often. Perhaps they could hold a European Championship tournament instead every year. They should make the Olympics the under 20 tournament for that year, and the IIHF should hold a proper World Cup every four years. There is not enough time in the two week Olympic break to play a decent tournament. Other than Basketball, there is no other major team sport that use the Olympics as its showcase tournament (Soccer, Baseball, Rugby, Cricket...).
Pretty much every olympic sport uses the Olympics as its showcase tournament, football being an exception to the rule.
I was refering to the major professional sports, and by showcase I meant it being the most important tournament in that sport. Basketball and hockey are basically the only ones.
The Olympics are a funny thing, because probably 75 - 80% of the events are in sports that only draw interest when they are being played at the Olympics. Take Speed Skating for example. I live in Canada, I've never seen a Speed Skating Oval, I've never met anyone who's tried Speed Skating, I don't even think I have ever seen a pair of Speed Skates, and yet Canada is one of the top Speed Skating countries in the world. Luge is another one, how many people in the world could possibly be Luging. Yes for these sports the Olympics is the showcase event.
I know everyone likes to think of the Olympics as this big global event, but it really is a much bigger deal to Europeans than the rest of the world. In Europe sports are popular just because they are Olympic sports. In the rest of the world they play what sports they like, and if happens to be an Olympic event then great.
You are. World Champs are still bigger here.
The (last) World Cup is now viewed as "summer tournament" here, where players came in straight from the golf course, not at their best form. The fact that there's no media interest in it putside of the usual hockey countries, makes Olympic participation more likely than another World Cup.
That doesn't change the fact that the rule is for a sport that has been an olympic sport forever, like ice hockey, to use the olympics as the showcase event. I can think of boxing and football as exceptions, there are probably a couple of others, but that's it.
Rugby isn't an olympic sport and neither is baseball, it's been removed and the big leagues not sending their players is actually the main reason of the removal.
Also, ice hockey is hardly a big sport, it compares to hanball and volleyball much more than to football.
That was my point, and to a lesser extend the same is true for hockey. In this respect handball and volleyball are much bigger sports than hockey. Outside four or five countries, the Olympics are the only time most people actually get to see hockey, that's why you need the olympics.
Yeah, that's why North America wants them every time.
Tennis is another one that comes to mind. But as far as your "rule" goes. The real rule has been that the Olympics are for amatuers. There is a good chance that the NHL and NBA will not participate much longer, and the Olympics will stop being the "showcase" tournament for those sports.
Why do hockey fans care if other people see the game? Hockey will always be a fringe sport, and we should be fine with that. There is such a misconception out there that we must grow the sport. Who cares, from a fans perspective it is great how it is now. For Canadians fans it was great 40 years ago even though we were the only ones playing.
Of coarse you will always find places that want to host the Olympics, that is mostly about $$$$. Most of the Olympic sports are not popular globally, they are there from when the games originated, in Europe.
Pros were in the Olympics from the start but regardless, even if the NHL and NBA don't take part any longer, the players at the olympics will still be professional players.
The last sentence sums it up, it was great for the Canadians, not for people in other countries. I understand Canadians would rather not have six countries placing above them at the Olympics but surely people in the other six countries have a different point of view.
You don't want to grow the game ? Fine, it's not like anyone was expecting anything from you anyway, but apparently this opinion is not shared by those in charge.
We could probably argue all day about what makes a pro or an amateur, but the bottom line is that the NHLers make the Olympics the premier tournament, not vice-versa.
You've completely missed the point. I'm not saying I have a problem with the game growing, or that I want to prevent the game from growing. The problem is that most puck heads are so insecure about the fringe nature of the sport that they are obsessed with "growing" the game, and are willing to do all kinds of pathetic and nonsensical things to try and do it.
You have made the same mistake that so many have made before you. You do not realize that the interests of the people in charge is not necessarily the same of what a fans interest is. Fans want to see great hockey, and those in charge want to make money.
Hockey will always be a fringe sport (especially ice hockey), but that doesn't mean it can't be more popular than it already is.
You grow the game because the bigger is gets the better the talent pool is for the NHL to draw players from. That only makes the on ice product better.
You grow the game because having a Yao Ming of hockey gives your league a place in the biggest emerging market in the world. And if it gives hockey a foothold, maybe the Asian Hockey League takes off and starts producing NHL talent 10-25 years from now. It also doesn't hurt that Charles Wang's picking up most of the bill for the Chinese program though.
You grow the game because the same 8-10 countries near the top gets boring after a while. New geographical rivals challenge eachother to improve their programs. If Denmark rises, Norway will want to as well, and maybe at some point Sweden and Finland will finally have new challenges to look forward to. Ask a Swede, they'll tell you Finland vs. Sweden does get boring after a while.
You grow the game because the sport is just so much more interesting when it's international.
Right now on the tip of Argentina kids play ice hockey on the frozen ponds of Ushuaia, and while the NHL is far out of reach for them now, with support from the IIHF and NHL (e.g. building an ice rink) maybe one day one of their own kids will make it. And in my opinion at least.. the NHL and the sport will be better off for it.
That's the main point for me.
Also, apart from not allowing the best athletes to compete in the olympics any longer, i have no idea what the "pathetic and nonsensical things" refer to.
When I was a kid growing up watching the Oilers win all those cups I thought the product on the ice was unbelievable. Yet you put that team on the ice today and they'd probably get smoked 10 - 0. What you don't realize is that the talent level, and the product on the ice is all relative. What people want to see are the best in the sport competeing. You can not tell me that the current NHL product is more entertaining than it was 20 years ago.
What makes absolutely no sense is when people want to see more talent, so they increase the number of teams in a league or tournament so they can grow the sport and find more talent. Yet all they are really doing is watering down and reducing the talent level of the hockey they are watching, which defeats the original purpose.
The NHL would be better if it had less teams, and the Olympics would be better if they only allowed 7 or 8 teams. It would mean there would be more head to head games of the talented teams and we would see better hockey. I'm not bored with watching any of the Big 7 play each other.
If others like what they see and get good enough to compete, then great invite them into the party too.
Kanadensisk means Canadian in Swedish. I am married to a Swede, my kids are dual Swedish / Canadian citizens.
The Sweden - Finland rivalry is one of the greatest in hockey. It is like the Leafs -Canadiens of the old days. I have never heard a Swede or a Finn say they are bored with those games. Look at their TV numbers from the last Olympics.
Finland was ruled by Sweden for a long time. There is a lot of history there, and there is no team each other would rather beat than their neighbour across the Golf of Bothnia.
Actually, no, there would be less games between the so-called big 7.
And you wouldn't be able to watch Belarus upset Sweden. People love giantkilling, this is the kind of games you watch again years after it happened. I don't think anyone is going to watch the can-cze game of 2006 again.
I was really disappointed when Sweden lost. Not because I was cheering for them, but because it robbed hockey fans of what could have been a great semi final game (Canada - Sweden). As it was, it made the semi final game kind of a joke for Canada, and really gave them an unfair advantage over the Americans in the final.
With an eight team tournament, you could have all the teams play each other once in the round robin, and then have the top four go straight into the semi finals. That would mean no more meaningless round robin games, and much more head to head with the elite teams. You'd still have your giant killer in the 8th spot.
As a hockey fan I can care less about 'exposure' of the sport since I think hockey is almost well known across the globe. I just want to watch hockey and any major tourney gets me interested.
Unfortunatly I was 3 years old 20 years ago, but judging from what everyone tells me it was much more entertaining. The question the NHL has to ask themselves is why is the game less entertaing when the talent level in the NHL is higher than it was 20 years ago.
My comment that, 'You grow the game because the bigger it gets the better the talent pool is for the NHL to draw players from', can be seen in a player like Anze Kopitar. Without the growth of hockey the NHL would have been deprived of a player with his exciting level of skill. And while the NHL still might be less entertaining than it was 20 years ago, it definatly is more entertaining with Kopitar rather than without. And the same will definatly be said if Denmark's Lars Eller pans out..
I would agree they shouldn't increase the number of teams in the World Cup, Olympics, or WJC just for the hell of it. Any teams that are added should be able to compete at that level (to some reasonable degree).
The unfortunate thing is that while 'spirit' of the Olympics might suggest it's a good idea to have a larger number of teams, with the NHL's time restrictions I just don't see how they could make it that much bigger. The World Cup might be less pressed for time to allow a greater number of teams but it's definatly not the same world stage as the Olympics.
(not in order)
Outside of the top 7, I think the rest of those teams are fairly interchangable. That would be the best arguement for a 10 team tourney in my opinion at least. Germany and Switzerland are improving, and from what I've heard Belarus is putting a lot of effort into building their program.
'Boring' was a poor choice of words, but this Swede said it best in this thread:
agree with you. IIHF shoud follow FIFA.
Kopitar is a great example of how the game should be growing. Somehow without ever playing in an elite tournament, either at the Junior, or Men's level, Slovenia has produced a half decent player.
In my opinion the best way to grow the game is by making the big tournaments as elite, as exciting, as competetive as possible, and you do that by limiting the number of teams. That is how you get more people to watch, not by adding teams that aren't ready to compete.
It's all about having a good product.