Hockey fans around the world have been eagerly awaiting the World Cup ever since it was announced that the tournament would be returning. It features the rare opportunity to see international best-on-best competition outside of the Olympics, and figures to be quite the event.
Eight teams will participate in the tournament: Canada, USA, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Europe, and North America U23. Team Europe is an all-star team featuring players from countries with no national team, or their country simply is not participating in the tournament.
|Group A||Group B|
|Europe||North America U23|
The top two teams in both groups will be placed in the semi-finals, where the top team from each group will play the second place team from the other group in single-elimination play. The final will then feature a best-of-three series between the winners of those games.
Today, we are getting the preliminary 16-man rosters. That means that there should be room for additions, but they will give us a good idea of what the teams will look like later this year.
Roster release schedule
The teams involved will each be unveiled today at various times. Here is the schedule, with the times listed being Eastern time:
Russia: 3:00 AM
Finland: 4:00 AM
Czech: 11:00 AM
Sweden: 12:30 PM
Europe: 4:30 PM
North America U23: 5:15 PM
Canada: 6:05 PM
USA: 6:45 PM
How to watch
In Canada: Sportsnet will be running a special starting at 4:00 PM Eastern time, where they will follow through all of the announcements.
In the United States: We will update if another carrier is found to be showing the results live, but NHL Network will be running a full recap show at 7:00 PM Eastern time. You also have the option of following along here at EOTP, as we will be posting the rosters as they are released.
Montreal Canadiens hopefuls
Since the Canadiens are highly unlikely to make the playoffs this year, there are a number of players to keep an eye on during the announcements.
Tomas Plekanec should be a lock for the Czech squad, and Andrei Markov is likely the same for his home country of Russia. Carey Price would be a sure thing if not for his injury, but most analysts seem to be projecting that he'll be named Canada's starting goaltender anyways. Rounding out the shoo-ins is Max Pacioretty for the USA.
P.K. Subban, on the other hand, doesn't yet seem to be a guarantee for team Canada. He definitely should be there, but some analysts have suggested that the Canadian blueline is so deep they can afford to leave him at home. Brendan Gallagher is definitely not a lock for team Canada, but it isn't out of the question either.
Other names to watch will be Lars Eller for team Europe, and Alex Galchenyuk for the North American U23 squad. Galchenyuk is one player that I am almost ready to say is a lock for that U23 squad, as he would be a fine addition.
We will be watching closely and providing updates tomorrow, particularly as it pertains to the Montreal Canadiens hopefuls.