If you’re craving something more-or-less resembling professional hockey, I’ve got good news. The World Cup of Hockey, the NHL’s cynical Olympics replacement, begins in just 45 days on Sept. 17 when the United States plays Team Europe at 12:30 p.m. Pacific on ESPN2.
All but the primetime game on Sept. 17 will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 (Canada vs. the Czech Republic is inexplicably on ESPNEWS). The games follow a 3 p.m./5 p.m. schedule through group play. The United States plays on the 17th, 20th and 22nd. At its longest, the tournament will run until Oct. 1.
The United States plays in a group with Team Europe, Canada and the Czech Republic. Russia, Finland, Sweden and Team North America play in the tournament’s other group.