Countries will have until Oct. 15 to submit their long lists of players for the men's Olympic hockey tournament in Beijing next year, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports.
Final rosters will be submitted sometime in early January but that date has not yet been finalized. LeBrun notes the approximately 50 players submitted by each country on Oct. 15 will be subject to drug testing.
The NHL and the NHL Players' Association is still debating whether to have all the countries name their final rosters on the same day in January or spread it out over a few days to create more buzz, LeBrun adds.
The men's tournament will run Feb. 9 to Feb. 20, while the women's will take place from Feb. 3 to Feb. 17.
In the men's portion, defending champion ROC will play Switzerland and Czech Republic will take on Denmark on the opening day. Canada opens play against Germany on Feb. 10.
The 12-team tournament will be played according to the format of the previous Olympic men’s ice hockey tournaments in three groups with Canada, the United States, Germany and China in Group A, ROC, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Denmark in Group B, and Finland, Sweden, Slovakia and Latvia in Group C.
The preliminary round will be played from Feb. 9 to Feb. 13 with three games for each team. For the final round, the 12 teams will be seeded according to their preliminary-round records with the top four teams (group winners and the best second-place team) automatically qualified for the quarter-finals on Feb. 16 while the other eight teams will play a qualification playoff game on Feb. 15 for a spot in the quarter-finals.
The semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 18, followed by the bronze medal game on Feb. 19 and the gold medal game on Feb. 20.