How to Fix the Competitive Imbalance at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship

How to Fix the Competitive Imbalance at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship

If Germany's junior national team had not been destroyed by COVID prior or during IIHF World Junior Championship, there's no doubt that it would have been able limit the goal advantage to Canada at the Boxing Day to one touchdown converted rather than two. That's it.

The only thing the disease did was increase the gap between two teams already massive. If it appeared as if that the two teams weren't to the same competition that's because they weren't. Even with their best performers, Germany is the ninth-best team in a tournament which is likely to comprise eight teams.

However, it is a certainty that this won't occur. In 1991, Saskatchewan organizers had promised Hockey Canada a $1 million revenue for the event and they over-delivered. A few years later they had packed arenas across Alberta and earned another tonne of money , and they realized that they had hit the jackpot. The field was increased from 8 to 10 players and transformed the tournament to a round-robin competition to a two-division format that leads to semifinal, quarterfinal and championship finals. This way that when the event is held at Canadian and American cities bordering each other, the organizers can put together expensive tickets that maximize revenue. It's even better when you can host the event in Canada every year and earn more than 20 million dollars in revenue and not a dime of which is paid to players who provide the products.

There are people who claim that less developed countries gain in terms of development from taking part in this event. It's obviously nonsense. The gap between the rich and poor has increased as time passes. Since 2002, there's been more than the 57 gold medals that are available as well Canada, Russia, USA, Sweden and Finland have been awarded 55 of the medals. Slovakia has fallen back a bit. The Czechs have seen a dramatic decline. Switzerland hasn't moved the needle even a single iota since winning the bronze medal in 1999. It is not surprising that Germany, Austria, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Latvia, Norway and Belarus are in a constant battle to win Division IA and getting clobbered at the World Juniors. The development occurring in those nations is not being influenced by the Worlds and is coming from the top players locally against males and imports from traditional hockey teams or from the practice of their skills in their own leagues, such as the Canadian Hockey League.

There will be 28 games during this year's tournament for 10 teams. But what if you trimmed your field down to just eight players? It is possible to play an open round-robin tournament, with the top- and second-place teams competing in the gold medal game, and the Nos. 3 and 4, competing for bronze. The fifth and sixth-place teams would remain in the tournament for the following year, while Nos. 7 , 8 and 7 would be facing exile. It would result in an overall total of 30 games. Teams competing for medals will be able to play one more match that they currently play.

However, it's unlikely to take place. The tournament will be held at 10 teams. Let's see if we can do something different. Whatever the format is , or the number of teams involved The main problem lies that of the international ice hockey federation's promotion and relegation system. Let's consider Austria who fell in their opening match 11-0 against USA for an illustration. The Austrians were entered into the Division IA tournament last year as the underdogs in a tournament where Belarus was the most popular choice. However, Austria shocked everyone with their performance, going 4-1-0 to take the title and gain an invitation to the next one and - as there is no demotion this year - in World Juniors 2022 Live Stream. The only issue with the team is the fact that Austrian team was comprised of 13 19-year-old players who had aged out which included New Jersey Devils prospect Benjamin Baumgartner who led the tournament with his scoring, second in scoring Paul Huber and both their goalkeepers. In all likelihood, the Austrians should have been playing in the last tournament and not this year's.

The problem is that , under our current rules, players can only win Division IA and it becomes the equivalent of putting lambs through the slaughterhouse. The players that helped get the country to the top league have left to assist them in staying there. It's not good for the development process, whether for individuals or hockey teams.

There is a easy solution to correct that. Let the top eight teams compete in the main tournament next year with the teams that are ninth and 10th-place teams joining with the other 6 Division IA participants from the previous year's qualifying tournament during the summer. The exception is the team that finished last that was in Division IA, which would be substituted by the winner of Division IB. So, teams who are striving to make it to the top of the field will have the chance to make it happen with their most talented players, who are 18 and 19 years old. (Players who turn 20 prior to the date of. 1st of the next World Junior tournament would not be eligible to participate for the tournament qualifying.) If you're planning to fill the tournament with nations that have demonstrated over the years that they're not able to consistently beat the top countries at this point at the very least, you'd have teams that have the possibility of never losing matches with multiple-digit scores.

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