The NHL and NHLPA announced in separate releases Wednesday that there will be no World Cup of Hockey in 2020.
Both the league and the players’ union have been meeting — last week in Las Vegas and this week in Toronto — to try and ensure labor peace in 2020 but were unable to come to a quick agreement.
“While the parties have now joined the concluded that it is no longer realistic to try to schedule a World Cup of Hockey for the fall of 2020, they plan to continue their dialogue with the hope of being able to schedule the next World Cup event as part of a broader agreement, which would include a long-term international event calendar,” the NHL said in a release on Twitter.
“The players are focused on finding the proper time to schedule the World Cup of Hockey within the context of an overall international hockey calendar,” the NHLPA added. “While we and the league have discussed the possibility of holding the next World Cup in September 2020, we jointly concluded that it is unrealistic to expect that preparation for the event would be completed in time. We look forward to continuing our discussions with the league.”
The NHL could be on the precipice of its fourth work stoppage in nearly three decades (94-95, 2004-05, 2012-13). The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA runs until 2022, but both sides hold an option to terminate the deal on September 15, 2020.
“Well, I was pretty confident there wouldn’t be one last time and, sure enough, we didn’t play until January,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said to ESPN. “So it’s not really in our hands. The league has been known to do that quite a bit in the last three opportunities they had, so it’s unfortunate. So I’d say, I’m not confident at all.”
Current issues between the two sides include the players’ escrow payments — something Alex Ovechkin has riffed about in the past — and Olympic participation.
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