The NHL announced the return of the World Cup on Jan. 24. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the goal of the event is to help grow the game, and a deal with ESPN could help push those efforts even further.
The 2016 World Cup will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto prior to the start of the NHL season. The eight teams involved will include Canada, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, plus two additional teams that will incorporate players from other European countries and a team of North American players under the age of 23.
Whether the return of the World Cup will impact the NHL's presence in the Olympics remains to be seen.