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A lot of hockey is going in Europe at the moment as we have noticed.

The KHL started some weeks ago and is rolling on like the famous Trans-Siberian train.

The Champions Hockey League’s group stage is pretty much over and preparing for the playoffs.

Soon enough the domestic leagues will begin all over the continent.

And, the crème on the top of all ongoing hockey events, the World Cup 2016 will begin next weekend, where the best or those who are supposed to be the best are participating.

I’d like to say that this World Cup will be the best tournament ever, but I cannot say that because it is not.

Not saying that because of the players, every player is World class, even in team Europe, but it is the format that gives a foul taste in the mouth. Like a warm Budweiser, you’d drink a hot summer day.

You’d spit it out at once, right?

Well, I am not going that far concerning the tournament, I’ll watch, but I won’t take it as seriously as I would if it had been the old Canada Cup or the World Cup a la 2004.

I just can’t because the simple fact is that it doesn’t feel serious when there are two non-teams, the one with young North American hockey stars and Team Europe.

But most of all, this is an idea by Bettman & Co in order to show that the NHL is the best and it is time to show the muscles for the whole world blah, blah, blah.

Nothing really to do with marketing hockey for fans, children, and youth who might consider giving the sport a chance, only earning money and showing that the muscles are shining big and sweaty in the light.

By the way, can you imagine Bettman as Schwarzenegger? Me neither.

And playing in Toronto?

Ah, come on! The most obvious place in the whole entire world to play the tournament.

Nothing against Toronto from my part but it would have been much more interesting if they had chosen another place; why not Paris in France or Berlin in Germany, if they wish to market the hockey and the NHL so much, and show the muscles?

Well, enough ranting about the tournament in this way.

But I’d like to see a deeper dialogue and cooperation between the IIHF, NHL, KHL and other hockey associations, to make a tournament that includes more fans and gives greater joy for the current fan base.

There is actually no need to have an antagonistic approach to each other between the leagues, just give space for better agreements and terms that make the greater part of the hockey world happy.

If there would have been such, I am quite sure that even the KHL would have one or two weeks’ pause instead of having game days going on during the tournament.

No one turns down a tournament of real class and with terms that feel fair.

But, I suppose that it is – for many reasons – a long way to that point.

I hope though I’m wrong.

If we talk about the tournament, who is going to win?

There is only one winner and that’s Canada. The rest of the teams are there just for being alibis for the big Canadian show.

But don’t take this as “ I hate Canada,” because I don’t.

On the contrary, I love Canada and Canadian hockey, but the whole concept of this competition makes it just a theatre play on the ice, where the roles are set and the end of the show is too obvious.

The sight of the whole spectacle is not pretty and the World Cup 2016 is not “the” Cup. It will never be.

People care much more for how things look than how things are.

― Donna Lynn Hope

Notable:

Warmest thoughts to all victim that died during the terror attack the 11th September 2001 and to their friends and family.

Also warmest thoughts to all victims who have died in terror attacks all over the world before and after.

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About The Author

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

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