Rebooting World Cup of Hockey to be part of NHL labor talks

June 23, 2019 - 1:15 pm

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Don Fehr are in favor of rebooting the World Cup of Hockey tournament and holding it every four years.

The stumbling block to laying out a long-term calendar of international competition, however, revolves around the hot-button topic of the NHL competing at the Winter Olympics after skipping out on South Korea last year.

Fehr told The Associated Press during the NHL draft weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia, he prefers to have both the World Cup and Olympics on the calendar. And he expects that to be a topic of discussion with formal labor negotiations set to begin this summer.

Bettman is on board when it comes to the World Cup, which was last held in 2016. But he's not committing the NHL returning to the Winter Games.

Though resolving a way to reduce the percentage of players' salaries being held back annually in an escrow fund is by far the NHL Players' Association's most pressing concern with the collective bargaining agreement, international competition is also on the list.

The owners and players face separate deadlines in September to decide whether to opt out of the current CBA, opening the possibility of another work stoppage affecting the 2020-21 season.

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