If it actually happens I'd chalk it up as a silly exhibition tournament with no merit to be honest. I think it loses all credibility with the inclusion of "Team North America U-23" or "Team European Leftovers". What is the point in that when countries like Switzerland, Latvia and even France have proven they can be competitive and pull off major upsets? Make it 8 or 16 teams like what we see at the IIHF World Championships and drop the puck I say. I just think its a slap in the face to countries
Good Lord, is that even a thing?? How lame is that "Euro leftovers" wtf...If I was a player representing France or Switzerland, I would balk at being clumped on to a team that is called "the leftovers"....what a slap in the face!! This is starting to remind me of the ill fated "rendezvous" exhibition series that was also UBER lame....and not just cause North America got their jocks handed to them, it was poorly designed from the get go.
I liked the idea at first. Then I heard about the format. I think this tournament will be garbage for the reasons @92WickedHockey gave. This could have been something very, very good, but I think they ruined it. I know Slovakia hasn't fared quite as well in recent years as they have, but for years we've had a "super seven." I heard Bettman talk recently about the enormous gap between the top six and everyone else. I'd be insulted if I were a top Slovak player.
It may seem lame now, but when those player slip on the Canadian colours it will be for real. This will be all out blood thirst....just watch. It will be like the Olympics, BUT no lame rules, no bans on big hits etc. I'm betting it will be all out warfare. The exact opposite of the NHL All Star game fiasco.
edit...we are talking about some really proud countries here. Does anyone think the Swedes, Russians, Fins, USA etc will not be playing all out for their respective countries? Th
Because of the (in my opinion) idiotic idea to have American and Canadian players 23 and under put on a separate team.
I understand that there's a gap between the top six teams and the rest of the world, but as I've said before, I think this could be a good tool to close that gap by encouraging growth in more countries. Slovakia has been on a downward slide over the last few years, but having a national team in a major international tournament could help spark things once more. Why n