The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have abandoned plans to hold a World Cup of Hockey in 2024

AP Photo transref:NYDD207, transref:NYDD208

By STEPHEN WHYNO=

AP Hockey Writer=

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have abandoned plans to hold a World Cup of Hockey in 2024.

They made the announcement in a joint statement Friday calling it not feasible to hold the tournament as they had hoped in February. The league and union say they hope to stage it in February 2025 and will continue to plan for that.

There has not been a World Cup for the sport since 2016 for various reasons. This time, the war in Ukraine was the reason because some countries did not want Russians to participate and players want the best in the world to take part.

Pushing plans to 2025 buys the league and players another year to figure out what to do with the Russia issue. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said some countries refused to play if Russians were allowed to participate, even if not in national team uniforms.

Commissioner Gary Bettman foreshadowed the decision last month, saying the deadline was approaching to nail down plans.

The 2016 World Cup closely followed the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The NHL chose to skip the 2018 Olympics and planned to participate in 2022 in China before the pandemic caused enough schedule disruption to derail those hopes.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports