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World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament schedule unveiled

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They're squeezing as much blood out of this rock as possible.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL has never been a big fan of the whole "Olympics" thing because of the whole "losing players without compensation for a month" thing. So Gary Bettman and company devised The World Cup of Hockey, a tournament that is sort of like the Olympics, except with way more positives for the NHL and far fewer of those pesky negatives.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the NHL is trying to squeeze as much out of this tournament as possible. There will be 12 pre-tournament games played as each team will get a pair of games in before the actual tournament begins. I've included the schedule below.

Training camp is expected to open Sept. 4-5 and the pre-season games will take place from Sept. 8-14. The Finals, a best of three series, will be completed by Oct. 1, 2016.

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Thursday, September 8

Team Czech Republic vs. Team Russia – Ice Palace; St. Petersburg

Start time TBD – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Team Sweden vs. Team Finland – Hartwall Arena; Helsinki

Noon ET/7 p.m. local – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Team Europe vs. Team North America – Videotron Centre; Quebec City

8 p.m. ET – ESPN2, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Friday, September 9

Team Canada vs. Team USA – Nationwide Arena; Columbus

7 p.m. ET – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Saturday, September 10

Team Russia vs. Team Czech Republic – O2 Arena; Prague

10:30 a.m. ET/4:30 p.m. local – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Team Finland vs. Team Sweden – Scandinavium; Gothenburg

Noon ET/6 p.m. local – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Team USA vs. Team Canada – Canadian Tire Centre; Ottawa

7 p.m. ET – Sportsnet, TVA Sports, TBD

Sunday, September 11

Team Europe vs. Team North America – Bell Centre; Montreal

6 p.m. ET – Sportsnet, TVA Sports, TBD

Tuesday, September 13

Team Finland vs. Team USA – Verizon Center; Washington, DC

7 p.m. ET – ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Wednesday, September 14

Team Czech Republic vs. Team North America – CONSOL Energy Center; Pittsburgh

3:30 p.m. ET – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Team Sweden vs. Team Europe – Verizon Center; Washington, DC

7 p.m. ET – TBD, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2

Team Canada vs. Team Russia – CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh

7:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2, Sportsnet, TVA Sports