After a 12-year hiatus, the World Cup of Hockey returns this week, with Toronto playing host to the eight-team tournament across a whole fortnight. More than 150 players from the NHL will feature in what some perceive to be a condensed version of the IIHF World Championship, but when international pride is at stake, you can be sure that all of those involved will be taking the tournament most seriously. This is especially the case when local rivalry comes into play, as it inevitably will for the Canada v USA and Sweden v Finland games.
While Canada and USA will hog most of the attention, five European teams will be keen to turn them over. Three of those feature in Group B, with Sweden, Finland and Russia all vying for a semi-final place at minimum. The two North American superpowers in Group A, meanwhile, will come up against a vibrant young Czech Republic side and a pan-European team comprised of players from outside the European nations competing in their own right, such as Slovakia’s Marian Hossa.
Tucker Hockey put together this infographic guide to the 2016 World Cup, in which you can see the schedule of games, a brief overview of all eight competing teams and which broadcasters will show the action. There’s also a nostalgic look at the history of this competition dating back to the Canada Cup days, so younger hockey fans may learn a thing or two that they didn’t know before.