As we all know by now, the NHL made the controversial decision to pull its players out of the Winter Olympics in 2018. That led to a bunch of unknowns suiting up, particularly in the United States, and since then it's been hotly debated whether or not players should be allowed to play on the international stage. On Wednesday, the NHL and the NHLPA announced the loss of another international competition, as the 2020 World Cup of Hockey is now being cancelled as well.
The announcement, while disappointing, isn't necessarily a surprise. The NHL and the NHLPA can both choose to opt out of current CBA in September, and the NHL has had three lockouts since 1994. There may well be yet another one come 2020, which would make the World Cup of Hockey unsustainable.
NHLPA statement regarding World Cup of Hockey and ongoing discussions with NHL. pic.twitter.com/ytx9F4ZumV— NHLPA (@NHLPA) January 16, 2019
NHL statement regarding today’s meeting with the NHLPA: pic.twitter.com/ciNYW7knDj— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 16, 2019
For fans, of course, even if the reasoning is sound it's another year that they don't get to see Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid share a team. The NHL is starved for a best-of tournament that isn't the All Star Game, so it's understandable that people are upset with the cancellation. The ultimate hope is that this is so that players can compete in the 2022 Olympics, but it doesn't seem to be moving in that direction.