2016 World Cup of Hockey: Groups, preliminary schedule, playoff format, and how to watch

The World Cup of Hockey is a two-week international hockey tournament that will take place in Toronto, Ontario from September 17 – October 1, 2016. It’s a joint effort between the NHL and the NHLPA, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

More than 150 NHL players will come together to form eight teams, starting their season early to compete in the best-on-best championship. As with all tournaments, teams will be broken into two groups for the preliminary round:

Group A
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Europe (with players from several smaller European countries)
  • USA
Group B
  • Finland
  • North America (Canadian and American players who will be under 24 years of age on October 1)
  • Russia
  • Sweden

Each team will play three round-robin games versus each opponent in its group. The top two finishers from Groups A and B will advance to the semi-finals, where the first-place teams will play an elimination game against the second-place team from the opposing group. The winners of the semi-finals will meet in a best-of-three final series.

Unlike most international tournaments, theWorld Cup of Hockey will follow NHL rules. Games will be played on the NHL-sized ice surface at the Air Canada Centre with full NHL rules. Round-robin overtimes will follow the NHL regular season format (3-on-3 for five minutes followed by a shootout) and elimination-round overtimes will follow the NHL playoff format (20 minute periods of continuous overtime).

The World Cup replaced what was the Canada Cup in 1996, with the tournament taking place seven times since 1976. Team Canada has dominated almost every time – bringing home the gold five times and silver twice. Their stacked roster entering this World Cup, including high-profile head coach Mike Babcock, makes them the team to beat once again.

ROUND DATE MATCHUP TIME (ET) TV
Preliminary Saturday, Sept 17 Team USA vs Team EUR 3:30 PM ESPN2, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Saturday, Sept 17 Team CZE vs Team CAN 8:00 PM ESPNEWS, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Sunday, Sept 18 Team SWE vs Team RUS 3:00 PM ESPN, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Sunday, Sept 18 Team NA vs Team FIN 8:00 PM ESPN2, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Monday, Sept 19 Team EUR vs Team CZE 3:00 PM ESPN, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Monday, Sept 19 Team RUS vs Team NA 8:00 PM ESPN2, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Tuesday, Sept 20 Team FIN vs Team SWE 3:00 PM ESPN, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Tuesday, Sept 20 Team CAN vs Team USA 8:00 PM ESPN, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Wednesday, Sept 21 Team NA vs Team SWE 3:00 PM ESPN, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Wednesday, Sept 21 Team EUR vs Team CAN 8:00 PM ESPN2, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Thursday, Sept 22 Team FIN vs Team RUS 3:00 PM ESPN, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Preliminary Thursday, Sept 22 Team USA vs Team CZE 8:00 PM ESPN2, SPORTSNET, TVA SPORTS
Semi-final 1 Saturday, Sept 24 Group A1 vs Group B2 7:00 PM ESPN2, CBC, TVA SPORTS
Semi-final 2 Sunday, Sept 25 Group B1 vs Group A2 1:00 PM ESPN, CBC, TVA SPORTS
Final Tuesday, Sept 27 SF1 vs SF2 8:00 PM ESPN, CBC, TVA SPORTS
Final Thursday, Sept 29 SF1 vs SF2 8:00 PM ESPN2, CBC, TVA SPORTS
Final (if necessary) Saturday, Oct 1 SF1 vs SF2 7:00 PM ESPN2, CBC, TVA SPORTS

Source: 2016 World Cup of Hockey: Groups, preliminary schedule, playoff format, and how to watch – Eyes On The Prize

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