The Future of the Worlds
QUEBEC CITY--Played out against the wonderful backdrop of gorgeous Quebec City celebrating its 400th anniversary, the final days of the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships have been an artistic success.
Finishing with a Canada-Russia final, really, just made it perfect. Whether it will have all made financial success, particularly the sharing of the tournament between Halifax and Quebec City, will take a few months to sort out. The bills are still coming in - don't forget, at one point there was fear Quebec wouldn't be able to pull its act together - but organizers don't believe it will be as profit-friendly as, for example, a world junior hockey championship.
But two things seem likely.
First, that the IIHF will come back to Canada to hold this competition again. It won't happen, likely, until at least 2015, as the IIHF has already awarded tournaments through 2013. In order, it will be Switzerland (2009), Germany (2010), Slovakia (2011), Finland (2012) and Sweden (2013). Latvia, meanwhile, is currently the only bidder for the '14 tournament.
Saskatoon and Winnipeg, who bid for the '08 event but lost out to Halifax-Quebec City, might bid again down the road. A tandem of Hamilton and London might also make sense.
Second, you have to believe the IIHF will take a stab at holding the worlds in the United States at some point. The 2005 world juniors in North Dakota were a success, and the 2011 world juniors, which don't yet have a U.S. location, will be another measuring stick. Buffalo and Minnesota are believed to be frontrunners to host the '11 junior event.
Canada, meanwhile, will host three of the next four world junior tourneys, starting with Ottawa next winter. Canada also has the rights to the 2010 and 2012 events, with bidding for those competitions still ongoing.
So while Canada appears to be all but taking over control of the world juniors, it's not yet clear what the future holds for holding the world championships here on even a semi-regular basis.