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Why the World Cup matters

USA Today's Kevin Allen answers, "What is the World Cup of Hockey, and why watch?"

The selling point of the World Cup of Hockey is that teams are made up of Grade A premium NHL talent with no filler.

When the World Cup starts Saturday with the U.S. playing Team Europe (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), it will boast a field that is more competitive top-to-bottom than we saw at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

“In this tournament you really have to watch yourself, because every team has a chance to win,” Canada center Jonathan Toews said.

Instead of a 12-team Olympic field, the NHL and the NHL Players Association agreed on an eight-team format that includes the primary hockey countries of Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, plus a team made up of the NHL’s best 23-and-under North American players and an European All-Star team. Team Europe has the best NHLers from countries not already in the tournament. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (Slovenia), Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (Slovakia) and Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (Switzerland) are among them.

Only a handful of non-NHL players have been invited to play in this tournament.

“It’s such a condensed tournament,” USA coach John Tortorella said. “You really are seeing the best players.”

Allen continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella, jonathan+toews, world+cup+of+hockey

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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