FlyHigh wrote:Yeah, like the World Cup of Hockey of 1996, who can forget that historic event?
Dominik Hasek in 1998? Canada-USA in 2002? Canada winning a gold medal in OT on home ice? All small potatoes compared to that 1996 World Cup. Don't even get me started on the 1991 Canada Cup.
More seriously, you are forgetting or ignoring that best-on-best tourneys have been tried before and failed miserably. The only time people cared was when the USSR was involved because the games became a proxy fight.
I don't know how old you were in 1996, but that World Cup a) was a lot of fun; and b) got a lot of national TV exposure (no small thing). It helped that the US/Canada games were fucking great.
The problem with the World Cup has always been the NHLs inconsistent and selfish relationship with it.
But, yeah, it definitely makes a huge difference if the games are preceded and followed by figure skating and luge ...
Want them in the Olympics instead of an independent IIHF tournament? That's fine. But the notion that the Olympics possess some special sauce that only they can bottle is a fiction. The IIHF just has lacked the power and international buy in (from North America) to create a competitive alternative.
The IOC does not hold a monopoly on international competition. And thank God, because it is a piece of shit entity. What I'm proposing is that the NHL, IIHF, and other leagues get serious about an alternative tournament. That is not impossible, and, if created and sustained, would quickly surpass the Olympics as a tournament. Now, from a biz perspective, the Olympics may bring a bit more exposure, since, ya know, people tune in to CNBC for news and stick around for the hockey game.