Welcome Back, World Cup of Hockey
Which nation has the best players? Soccer's World Cup answers the question every four years. Various sports and games decide the issue in the Olympics. The last three Winter Olympics have had representation from a full contingent of National Hockey League players. But the competition has been nudged into the middle of the NHL regular season. Now comes the World Cup of Hockey, a renewal of a competition that evolved from other off-season international hockey events and was last played in 2004. It gives players a chance to get their licks in before the NHL season starts and gives us bettors a chance to get our licks in before the NHL betting season officially begins.
Rosters and Format
This World Cup of Hockey should be the best yet, with 150 NHL players plus the top players from various European leagues on the ice. Teams represent six nations, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Another team, Europe, has Euro players from countries outside of the four other European nations represented. Then there is Team North America, made up of the best young players (age 23 and under) from Canada and the United States. The eight teams play in two round-robin format groups before an elimination semifinals and a best of three finals. The group play begins on Sept. 17, with the semis on Sept. 24 and 25, and the finals starting on Sept. 27. The games will be at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
World Cup of Hockey Betting
Canada is the favorite for the event, because they are loaded with talent and have won three of the last four Olympics. But there will be 12 warmup exhibitions starting Sept. 8 leading up to the Cup, each team playing three. Canada plays USA twice and Russia once in these games, and how the teams measure up in those games may offer a clue to World Cup of Hockey betting. If you don't want to wait for numbers to change according to those warmups, Canada presently sits at +110 to win the Cup on the futures board. That's worth considering, and Finland at +1400 is a nice longshot. We'll detail the teams and provide updates in the coming weeks.
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