With both the National Hockey League and NHL Players Association today ratifying both their return to play proposal to complete the 2019-20 NHL season, as well as extend their latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, one major clause of the plan is the return of NHL players to the Winter Olympics, marking the return of the world’s top professional players for the first time since 2014, pending IOC and IIHF approval.
The IIHF Annual Congress today was held on the off day at the 2019 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, with a number of major announcements voted on to impact the future of international hockey in the coming years.
In a similar vein to the IIHF’s decision four years ago to allow Korea automatic berths to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, the IIHF today confirmed at their Annual Congress that the next Winter Olympic hosts, China, will gain automatic berths for the men’s and women’s tournaments in Beijing for the 2022 Games.
Following a similar mandate made for the IIHF Women’s World Championships last year, the IIHF today confirmed that the 2022 Olympic women’s tournament in Beijing, China, will expand to ten teams, in order to accommodate both the host country and a new contender in an ever-increasing talent pool in international women’s hockey.
After a two-city race between Asian powers to host the XXIV Olympiad, it was today announced in Kuala Lumpur that Beijing, China will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, after defeating Almaty, Kazakhstan by a vote of 44-40.
🇨🇳 CHINA (CHN) Men’s National Ice Hockey Team
An emerging hockey nation just by virtue of its sheer size, the Chinese men’s team will look to replicate the success of the women’s size before the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. With the world watching, China will look to make their first Olympic appearance a success, potentially racking up a few wins (and an IHLC title) in Beijing.
🇨🇳 CHINA (CHN) Women’s National Ice Hockey Team
China has been a unique contender for the women’s IHLC, emerging as an unlikely threat at the 1992 World Championship – but more remarkable has been their ability to stay competitive in a nation not known for its hockey prowess. China nearly upset the dominant Canadian squad at the 1996 Pacific Rim Championship, narrowly losing 1-0. China has played the most games of any women’s team that has yet to win the IHLC, and will surely continue to compete to win their elusive first IHLC.
01:19 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Granato (Wendell, Darwitz)
02:54 – 🇨🇳 PEN – Wang L., slashing
04:34 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Dunn, interference
07:04 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Looney (Bailey, Baker)
09:29 – 🇨🇳 PEN – Ma, slashing
16:30 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Granato
20:00 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Dunn, checking from behind major + game misconduct