David Pastrnak currently not please with NHL decision-makers
Photo credit: NHL

Superstar forward ''sad and pissed'' at the NHL over recent announcement

Published February 5, 2024 at 6:48 PM

The World Cup of Hockey in 2016 was a resounding success for a variety of reasons, but it was the inclusion of Team North America and Team Europe that made things a lot more exciting and competitive.

It should come as no surprise that once you get past the 2 North American supergiants in Canada and the United States as well as the 2 Scandinavian nations in Sweden and Finland, the competitiveness and parity drops. That's not a slight towards Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Germany but the talent level isn't generally on par. Of course, we all know about the situation between the IIHF and Russia, which has led to the exclusion of the hockey powerhouse from international play.

The NHL was clearly looking for the best on best and with Russia not allowed to participate in any of these events, it made things a lot easier to just settle with 4 teams. Nevertheless, in the last tournament we saw the United States finish 0-3-0 in the group stages with a very subpar roster, Finland finished 0-3-0 as well, and Team Europe went all the way to the finals.

Boston Bruins superstar and native of Czechia expressed his disappointment with the ruling - a sentiment felt by all those who have been snubbed from the tournament. We won't be seeing Pastrnak, Leon Draisaitl, Tim Stutzle, Roman Josi, Timo Meier, and Anze Kopitar among several others.

Nevertheless, the NHL did announce simultaneously that they will be participating in the Olympic Games in 2026 and 2030, giving those nations a chance to flex their muscles and show the hockey world they deserve to be showcased on the world stage.

The Czechs have the most NHL players out of those snubbed from the tournament including Pastrnak, Tomas Hertl, Martin Necas, and Ondrej Palat. The Slovakians have a few young stars in the making in Juraj Slafkovsky, Dalibor Dvorksy, Filip Mesar, and Simon Nemec. The Germans are led by Draisaitl and Stutzle with John-Jason Peterka and Lukas Reichel behind them and the Swiss have a strong cast that includes Josi, Meier, Nico Hischier, and Kevin Fiala.

However, with the strength of Canada, Finland, Sweden, and the United States, the NHL thought it would be better to just keep things amongst the superpowers for now. If Russia weren't sanctioned, they would have probably tried to even things out to at least 6 teams but at the very least we have the Olympic Games in 2026 for full participation.

February 5   |   607 answers
Superstar forward ''sad and pissed'' at the NHL over recent announcement

Should the NHL expand next year's World Cup to 6 teams?

Yes35658.6 %
No15525.5 %
Maybe next time around9615.8 %
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