World Cup of Hockey won't be played in 2020, sides say

The NHL and NHLPA say there will be no World Cup of Hockey in 2020.

The news came out following a meeting between the two groups in Toronto on Wednesday.

"While the parties have now jointly concluded that it is no longer realistic to try to schedule a Word Cup of Hockey for the fall of 2020, they plan to continue their dialogue with a hope of being able to schedule the next World Cup event as part of a broader agreement, which would include a long-term international event calendar," the NHL said in a statement.

The NHLPA released its own statement, saying, "The players are focused on finding the proper time to schedule the World Cup of Hockey within the context of an overall international hockey calendar." The NHLPA added that it was "unrealistic to expect preparations for the event would be completed in time."

The NHL and the union have started informal labor talks over the past few weeks. Both sides have the option to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in September 2019. The deal is set to expire in 2020.

Both sides had expressed optimism about getting the World Cup of Hockey done, but without an official deadline, they were not able to come to an agreement in time to arrange the tournament. Now discussions will mostly shift to items in the upcoming CBA.

The World Cup of Hockey is organized by the NHL and NHLPA, unlike other international events like the World Ice Hockey Championships and the Olympics, which are run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The World Cup of Hockey has typically occurred in September, before NHL training camps open.

There have been three iterations of the World Cup of Hockey -- in 1996, in 2004 and in 2016. The 2016 Games, hosted by Toronto, featured a popular format that included two All-Star teams: Team Europe and the under-23 Team North America.

International competitions are generally very popular among NHL players. The world championships occur during the Stanley Cup playoffs, so only players whose NHL teams have been eliminated can participate. The NHL did not send players to the Olympics in 2018 for the first time in two decades.