MOSCOW, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The National Hockey League (NHL) offered the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to discuss aspects of joint participation in the World Cup of Hockey, last held in 2004 and currently pondered for the comeback in 2016, KHL President Alexander Medvedev said on Thursday.
The World Cup of Hockey is an international successor of the previously famous Canada Cup (held between 1976 and 1991). After the international event was inaugurated in 1996 it was staged only once again in 2004. Some of the western media reported earlier in the week that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) proposed holding the event in the fall of 2016 in the eight-team format.“I have received a letter from [NHL Deputy Commissioner] Bill Daly in which he proposes to meet in the nearest future to discuss issues related to the World Cup and other matters,” Medvedev said adding that the KHL supports the idea of holding the event, which was last staged 10 years ago.
However, the KHL president said that “the World Cup will be held not in line with ‘their’ rules, but according to hockey rules.”
“Everything will be discussed, including the issue of referees, just like it was before the Olympics in Sochi,” Medvedev said.
Czech ice hockey website Hokej.cz reported on Tuesday that at the recently held IIHF Congress in Spain’s Tenerife Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players Association, informed his colleagues that the World Cup would be held between September 15 and October 1, 2016.
The Czech website also cited Vladislav Tretiak, the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation as saying that he would settle the issue with the KHL and the league’s best players would be able to compete within the announced dates.
Earlier this month the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) signed an agreement to extend for one more year the Memorandum of Understanding, which stipulates respect for contracts of professional players from the both Leagues, prolonging it until June 30, 2015. The memorandum is primarily aimed at resolution of disputable situations in case of players’ transfer from the one league to the other.
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is an International league, set up in March 2008 to promote the successful development of hockey in Russia and other countries in Europe and Asia. On March 27, 2008 the Hockey Federation of Russia (FHR) officially handed over all rights to stage the national championship to the KHL. The highest ranked Russian team will be proclaimed the Champion of Russia.
The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America. It is headquartered in New York City and is composed of 30 member clubs: 23 in the United States and 7 in Canada.
The World Cup of Hockey was organized by the NHL and therefore it was played according to the league’s rules unlike annual Ice Hockey World Championships and quadrennial Winter Olympic hockey tournaments, which are sanctioned by the IIHF and are played to different rules.
The matches of the World Cup of Hockey are played outside the NHL regular season allowing best players of the league to compete in the international event unlike the annual World Championships, which usually overlap with NHL’s playoffs.
The previous Canada Cup, which ran between 1976 and 1991 was held five times with four of them won by Canada and one by the Soviet Union team in 1981. The inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996 was won by the United States and the next one in 2004 by Canada.