The NHL and its players' association have agreed to move forward with plans to bring back the World Cup of Hockey, the league announced on Wednesday.
The tournament, likely to be held in February of 2024, would include games played in North America over a 17-day window, featuring at least eight national teams.
"We still want to play one pool in Europe, a preliminary round pool in Europe and a preliminary round pool in North America and move the semifinals and the final to a different city in North America likely," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said on Wednesday during the NHL European Player Media Tour. "I think that short list would universally encompass more traditional hockey markets."
The expected return of this best-on-best tournament follows the 2022 Beijing Olympics, where COVID-19 concerns prevented NHL players from attending. It was the first time NHL players were set to participate in the Olympics since 2014.
The World Cup of Hockey was most recently held in Toronto in September 2016 and featured eight teams: host Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, United States, plus Team Europe (composed of players from European nations not represented) and Team North America (Canadian and American players 23 years old or younger).
Canada defeated Europe 3-1 and 2-1 to win the best-of-three final and capture the World Cup.
It remains unclear if Russia would be granted a national team at the tournament.