NHL: An Open Letter Regarding The World Cup Of Hockey
Kevin Sousa, USATSI

What was supposed to be an exciting and fun NHL sponsored event quickly became an embarrassing bush league production.

First off, it’s important to note that the NHL probably had good intentions with the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

I myself, love international competition and look forward to the Winter Olympics every four years  because it usually brings about some great hockey.

Having said that, someone needs to address the farce which some called the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Dear NHL,

Only you, NHL, can go and screw up what should be a perfectly fun and exciting event. The stage was set for you, yet you still managed to muck it up.

Everyone is starved for hockey, so a World Cup event in September is an easy sell for hockey fans.

Eight teams were introduced, two of which were all-star teams.

Why did you construct a Team North America and Team Europe? Were you that desperate for teams that you had to go throw a couple teams together on the fly?

The issue here isn’t a question of competition (as both “all-star” teams demonstrated that they were more competent than Team USA) but rather question of involvement.

Were you really having that tough of a time gathering international interest together where you had to put these two teams together?

And then there was the embarrassing presentation both on television and in the arena.

“…and in goal for Team Canada, please welcome Corey Price!”

Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone makes mistakes.

Also, ESPN should never host another hockey event on their network. Ever.

Their coverage was horrible, and that’s putting it lightly. Prior to this event you have never caught me saying that I’d prefer the NBC crew.

Bring on Pierre and company.

Barry Melrose was past his broadcasting prime back in the 90’s. It’s now 2016. You couldn’t find anyone with a fresher viewpoint ESPN?

If you have ever thought that the football intermission reports on Sundays were ugly and meaningless, then I’ll introduce you to Brett Hull and Chris Chelios.


I actually felt bad for Chelios at times as he was usually handed the job of covering up for Hull’s awkward comments and blatantly unprepared analysis.

There was one point during the USA/Canada game where Hull just stopped talking and started shaking his head. Yeah, we understand what you were going for Brett but dead airtime is kind of a no-no in professional broadcasting.

Oh, and then there was this…

Ryan McDonaugh. It’s McDonagh. This is an international event folks. Could you imagine the backlash if the NFL produced such a lame product production-wise?

I’m also curious what Gary Bettman’s true motivation is behind the World Cup. I have a sneakin’ suspicion that this whole event is an experiment.

Think about it.

If the World Cup does well (it will never do as well as the Olympics for a million reasons), then Bettman would have the evidence he needs to pull his players out of the Olympics.

But hey, the NHL hasn’t held back in the past when it comes to their fan’s best interests. In fact, they’ve made it very clear that their fans best interests are their last priority.

I've been a die hard Rangers and Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy sharing opinions, and hearing from fans that love their teams just as much as I do. Henrik Lundqvist makes all of us look like mere mortals. E-mail me at: Chris.Wengert@elitesportsny.com