World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

Chris Chelios celebrates with teammate Keith Tkachuk after USA defeated Russia during the World Cup of Hockey in 2004. 

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey will be making a long-awaited return in 2016.

The tournament will feature eight teams with the games played in Toronto before NHL training camps.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Donald Fehr announced the tournament’s return Saturday at a news conference during the league’s All-Star Game weekend festivities in Columbus, Ohio.

A new wrinkle will be added to the format, with two of the teams made up of multinational players. One team will consist of North American-born players age 23 and younger. Another will consist of European-born players whose countries aren’t represented.

The other six teams will be Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland.

The World Cup and its predecessor, the Canada Cup, have been held seven times since 1976 through 2004.

Separately, the NHL said the Bruins and Canadiens will play in the Winter Classic next year.