'Did you see Ohtani versus Trout?' Oilers' McDavid desires best-on-best hockey event
Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid has never represented Canada in a best-on-best hockey tournament in his professional career.
After watching the finale of the World Baseball Classic put on by Major League Baseball on Tuesday, McDavid stated his desire for the National Hockey League to put on a similar event.
"I thought it was really cool," McDavid told reporters on Wednesday. "Everyone's been talking about baseball [and asking] 'Did you see Ohtani versus Trout?' and that's what hockey's been missing for almost a decade now. It's what we've been asking for in hockey for a long time. It's best-on-best."
Since McDavid started his NHL career in the 2015-16 season, he has only participated in one best-on-best tournament. He represented Team North America, a team made up of age 23 and under players, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. McDavid registered three points in three games at the event.
Team North America consisted of players such as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, and Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel, who have never had the opportunity as professionals to represent their countries in best-on-best play.
The NHL ended a run of five straight Winter Olympics with NHL player participation prior to the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The league had planned to return to the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing but were forced to pull out due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in North America.
The NHL and NHL Players' Association had been working towards a World Cup of Hockey in 2024, however they concluded it isn't possible to hold the tournament in the "current environment" in November of 2022. They plan to work towards holding the tournament in 2025.
"Over the last year, the NHL and NHLPA have been working on plans to conduct the next World Cup of Hockey, the premier international best-on-best tournament in February [of] 2024," The NHL and NHLPA said in a joint-statement in November. "Unfortunately, in the current environment it is not feasible to hold the World Cup of Hockey at that time. We continue to plan for the next World Cup of Hockey, hopefully in February [of] 2025."