AJLNH: the new boss wants the return of the World Cup

AJLNH: new boss wants World Cup back


Hired earlier this year as director of the National Hockey League (NHL) Players' Association, Marty Walsh has specific goals in mind, including bringing a World Cup.

Former United States Labor Secretary left President Joe Biden's government to lead the union previously under Donald Fehr and intends to be proactive in many folders.  

In a press conference on Thursday, he said he had held some discussions relating to a tournament bringing together the best in the world and the participation of NHL players in the 2026 Olympic Games. He seems to have taken note of the success of the World Classic of baseball this month and should build on that. 

“Let's get the program in place, bring back the World Cup and put together a schedule that people will be comfortable with,” he said. -he assures. The fans like it, the players too, and it's important for us to get there.” 

“In the current context, it is impossible to organize it. We continue to plan a tournament, ideally for February 2025”, recalled the league and the union in a press release in November. The World Cup was last held in 2016 and hopes of a 2021 event dwindled in 2019. 

Too early to say on Russia 

As for the participation of a Russian formation in such an event, Walsh did not want to come forward. Currently, the country of President Vladimir Putin is declared undesirable by the vast majority of sports organizations, including the International Ice Hockey Federation which has already excluded him from the 2023-2024 season. 

“ I believe that with what is happening in the world, things change quickly and others may arise. It's a bit too early to talk about who might or might not participate, he said. However, we should put the competition on paper, start the conversation to move it forward. Then we'll see what's next. Certainly there will be challenges over time.” 

In addition, Walsh noted, of the pride jerseys that caused a stir recently, that the league has more work to do to make sure all players feel welcome in the NHL. Some hockey players have refused in the previous weeks to wear jerseys raising awareness of diversity and inclusion during warm-up periods.