It will not quite be the long-rumored World Cup of Hockey, but the NHL announced Friday that the league will host a four-nation international tournament next season in host cities Boston and Montreal.
The Four-Nations Face-Off co U.S., Canada, Finland, and Sweden will compete in the tournament, which is seven games over nine days from Feb. 12 to 20, 2025.
The teams will practice on Feb. 10 and 11.
It is the first NHL-hosted tournament since the World Cup in 2016, which included a World team of players from outside the primary countries and a North American team of players under 23 years old to complete the six-team tourney.
During his press conference Friday at the All-Star Game in Toronto, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the NHL players will participate in the 2026 and 2030 Olympics.
Bettman also said the league plans to stage a full World Cup of Hockey in 2028 and 2032.
Conspicuously absent from the four-team tournament next season is Russia, which has been barred from international competition due to the invasion of Ukraine. It seems likely Sidney Crosby will participate next season, but without Russian inclusion, Evgeni Malkin will get a rest.