World Cup of Hockey

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The term “world cup” is about to become as important to hockey fans as it currently is to soccer fans.

When it takes place in Toronto September 17 to October 1, 2016, the World Cup of Hockey will have the most exciting names in NHL hockey on the roster.

It takes place at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and though it’s not the first hockey World Cup (the last one took place about a dozen years ago), the NHL is planning to hold it every four years, just like the soccer counterpart, and make it a highly-anticipated event in the sports landscape.

So this World Cup is a first, of sorts, and most importantly a chance for fans to see some great hockey. The biggest hockey nations will be sending players – Canada, United States, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden as well as Germany and Slovakia.

There will also be two all-star teams — Team Europe and the under-23 Team North America — which means there will be about 150 of the NHL’s best players participating in the tournament on teams of 20 skaters and three goaltenders.

Some big names on the under-23 roster are 18-year-old Auston Matthews, the No. 1 draft pick in 2016, and 22-year-old goaltender Matthew Murray of the 2016 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Canadian flag flies over a hockey game at Air Canada Centre
World Cup of Hockey
Photo: @annhelensvenby

Murray’s teammate Sidney Crosby, the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL playoff MVP, will be representing Team Canada, alongside other league favourites such as the New York Islanders’ John Tavares, Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos and Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews.

Elsewhere in the tournament, other big names are Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane (Team USA), Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin (Team Russia), Boston Bruins’ David Pastrnak (Team Czech Republic) and New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist (Team Sweden). Read the full rosters.

If you don’t have tickets to the games you can still enjoy the excitement of the tournament. Read Top 10 Toronto Sports Bars for the Win to find a great spot to take in the action with your friends.