With the World Championship having ended with a Canadian gold, a Russian silver and an American bronze, the IIHF Men’s World Rankings have been updated, and the 2018 Men’s Olympic Tournament pools have begun to take shape.
It has not yet been decided whether the NHL, NHLPA, IOC and IIHF will work out an agreement that will again allow NHL players to participate in the Olympics, which has happened in five consecutive Winter Olympic Games dating back to 1998. The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
With the third place finish at the World Championship, the United States Men’s National Team has moved up one slot to fifth overall in the world, trailing Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland. Because teams are placed into three groups in the Olympics by virtue of a serpentine placement based on world rankings, the United States will be in a pool with Russia, Slovakia, and a to-be-determined qualifier at the 2018 Games. Canada will be in a group with the Czech Republic, Switzerland and host South Korea, while Sweden and Finland will be joined by two qualifiers in the group stage. Final Olympic qualification tournaments held in Belarus, Latvia and Norway will determine the three qualifiers and will begin in September, 2016. Slovenia (along with Denmark and a pre-qualifier) will travel to Belarus to attempt to gain entry into the 2018 Games.
The groups for the 2016 World Championship were also established. The event, hosted next May in Russia, will feature the United States traveling to St. Petersburg for Group A games against Canada, Finland, Slovakia, Belarus, France, Germany and Hungary. Group B games, which will take part in Moscow, will feature Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Denmark and Kazakhstan.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are several highlights from recent Monarchs and World Championship games that you might have missed, courtesy of KingsVision: