4.48 million viewers tuned in on Tuesday night to watch an iconic World Baseball Classic final between Japan and the USA, but the real audience grabber came in the ninth inning. With Japan on the verge of winning their third title, it came down to Shohei Ohtani facing Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout, who he struck out on a nasty slider. That moment when two of the biggest MLB superstars in the world met on the international stage opened the eyes of Connor McDavid, who would love to see a similar event in the NHL.
While the World Cup of Hockey and the Olympics are a thing, the aforementioned hasn’t happened since 2016. With the best of the best in hockey in their prime, McDavid thinks it’s time for the sport to create a tournament where the biggest names go toe to toe. Via Sportsnet:
“I thought it was really cool,” McDavid told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s what we’ve been asking for in hockey for a long time, right, best-on-best?”
“Look, everyone is talking about baseball, ‘Did you see Ohtani vs. Trout?’ and that’s what hockey’s been missing for almost a decade now,” McDavid said. “That’s what we’ve been asking for.”
The World Cup of Hockey was expected to take place in 2024, but it’s been pushed back due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As for the Olympics, NHL players haven’t participated since 2014 when Canada lifted the gold medal.
Although Connor McDavid is adamant hockey needs to adopt a WBC-like tourney, it’s hard to imagine that happening anytime soon. Let’s be honest though, we’d all die to see McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Sidney Crosby take on American stars like Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, and even Patrick Kane.
When the face of the league makes a suggestion, you at least look into the possibilities. Your move, NHL.