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The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it is the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991. The tournament has occurred twice, with the United States winning in 1996 and Canada winning in 2004. The next installment of the World Cup of Hockey will take place in 2011.

Unlike its International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)-sanctioned counterpart, the annual World Championships, the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League (NHL). As such, the games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF. The World Cup of Hockey also occurs outside of the hockey season, allowing for all the best players in the world to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the Stanley Cup playoffs.

History

Canada Cup

The World Cup of Hockey was preceded by the Canada Cup, which began in 1976 in a combined effort from Douglas Fisher of Hockey Canada and Alan Eagleson of the NHL Players' Association. Taking inspiration from soccer's FIFA World Cup, Eagleson proposed a new tournament that would bring together all the top hockey-playing nations. After successful negotiations with hockey officials from the Soviet Unionmarker in September of 1974, Eagleson began arranging the Canada Cup tournament, which debuted in 1976. It was the first international ice hockey tournament that allowed hockey nations to field their top players, as the Winter Olympics was a strictly amateur competition and the annual World Championships clashed with the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The tournaments, held every three to five years, took place in North American venues prior to the start of the National Hockey League (NHL) regular season. Of the five Canada Cup tournaments, four were won by Canada, while the Soviet Union won one in 1981.

World Cup of Hockey

In 1996, the Canada Cup officially changed its name to the World Cup of Hockey. The United States defeated Canada to win that year's inaugural tournament. Other competitors were the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.

Eight years later, the second installment of the World Cup of Hockey took place in 2004, just prior to the 2004–05 NHL lockout. Canada won its first tournament championship, defeating the Czech Republic in the semifinals and Finland in the final match.

Trophy

1996 World Cup trophy
In 2004, award-winning Canadian architect Frank Gehry designed a new trophy for the tournament. It is made from a composite alloy of copper and nickel as well as solid cast urethane plastic.

Results

Year Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists
1996 and
2004 and


See also



References

  1. The Canada Cup of Hockey Fact and Stat Book, p. 2, H.J. Anderson, ISBN number: 1412055121, 9781412055123, Publisher: Trafford Publishing, 2005
  • Müller, Stephan : International Ice Hockey Encyclopedia 1904-2005 / BoD GmbH Norderstedt, 2005 ISBN 3-8334-4189-5


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