The World Cup of Hockey as born in 1976 as the Canada Cup, and in reality, during both of its names and virtually all of its history, it has been Canada's Cup. The Canadians won the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976 and the most recent World Cup of Hockey in 2004, and in between captured all but two titles. Russia won the second Canada Cup in 1981 and when the World Cup of Hockey was born in 1996, it was the United States that got the title, although Canada has appeared in every championship game in tournament history.
The first Canada Cup was Bobby Orr's final hurrah as an NHL player, while the 1981 tourney displayed the power of the Soviet hockey machine, which whipped Canada 8-1 in the final. Canada rebounded for victories in 1984, 1987 and 1991. The Americans took a best-of-three final from Canada in 1996, the biggest win for Team USA since their 1980 Winter Olympic triumph. But Canada will again enter the 2016 event as defending champion, and as the prohibitive favorites to win the World Cup again.
Best World Cup Of Hockey Betting Lines
With all the top players in action and all of them healthy and at 100 per cent, as the tournament is held prior to the NHL regular season, it makes betting on the World Cup of Hockey an exciting proposal.
Take a look at all the betting lines for forthcoming games and do your homework to ensure you get the most out of your bets.
The World Cup of Hockey is a unique hockey event in that it is an international tournament that is played on North American-sized ice surfaces and under the rules of the NHL.
Originally created as the Canada Cup, at the time it was the only international hockey event that pitted all of the best players in the world against each other. The NHL didn't shut down its season to enable Olympic participation until 1998, two years after the first World Cup of Hockey was played. And with the World Championship contested in the midst of the Stanley Cup final, most of the top players in hockey aren't able to attend.
What Are World Cup Of Hockey Standings
Here's where you will find the up to date World Cup of Hockey standings, so you can determine when and where to place your bets on the tournament.
The World Cup of Hockey's preliminary round is divided into two divisions.
Canada, the U.S.A., the Czech Republic and Team Europe, a roster of players from European countries beyond the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden, will compete in one group. Sweden, Finland, Russia and Team North America, comprised of the best under-23 NHLers from Canada and the United States, comprise the other group.
Crossover sudden-death semi-finals will pit the winner of one group against the second-place finisher in the other group, with the two semi-final winners meeting in a best-of-three series for the World Cup of Hockey title.
How To Win At World Cup Of Hockey Betting
As the defending champion, not surprisingly, Canada is the runaway favorite to win the World Cup of Hockey again in 2016 in the futures lines offered at most sportsbooks, but after that, there's a difference in which country gets second choice.
Bovada has Canada at -105, followed by Russia (+400), Sweden (+500), the U.S.A. (+600), Finland (+1400) and Team North America (+2300).
BetOnline also likes Canada at +100, followed by Russia, Sweden and Team USA all at +450. Finland and Team North America are at +1400, while the Czech Republic and Team Europe open at odds of +2500.
TopBet is another in Canada's camp, listing the Canadians at -125, followed by Russia (+450), Sweden (+500), the United States (+550), Finland (+1200), the Czech Republic and Team North America (+2000) and lastly, Team Europe (+3300).
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will offer two wildcard entries that should offer long odds to bettors but could prove intriguing wagers nonetheless to those who wager on hockey and know their NHL personnel.
Team North America is comprised of the best players in the NHL from Canada and the United States 23 years old and younger and includes such young stars as Canadians Connor McDavid and Aaron Ekblad and Americans Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin. What they lack in experience they will make up for with talent and enthusiasm, and figure to be a handful for any team.
Then there's Team Europe, comprised of players from European countries not entered in the tournament. Considered the longest shot to win by almost every sportsbook futures listing, with players such as Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, Zdeno Chara, Tomas Tatar, Frederik Andersen and Marian Hossa, overlooking Team Europe would be a follish error on any country's part.