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Details of 2016 World Cup of Hockey announced

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi fights tears during a rally at Staples Center following the 2014 Stanley Cup championship.

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi fights tears during a rally at Staples Center following the 2014 Stanley Cup championship.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The heat wave enveloping Southern California enhances the appeal of being inside a chilly hockey rink, and there’s a promise of relief from soaring temperatures (and a lack of hockey) when NHL rookie camps open in a few days.

Looking a little further down the road, the NHL and NHL Players’ Assn. on Wednesday announced details of the World Cup of Hockey tournament, which will be contested among eight teams next year at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The World Cup of Hockey has been held twice before, in 1996 and 2004, but was put on hold while the league and players focused on participating in the Winter Olympics. There’s no agreement in place for NHL players to participate in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, though that might still be worked out.

In the meantime, the World Cup is envisioned as a major international event that could launch other international events played under varying formats. It also has the attraction of providing profits that will be split between the NHL and the NHLPA, a windfall the league and players don’t get from the Olympics. That revenue won’t count as hockey-related for purposes of calculating the salary cap.

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This World Cup has a little bit of a gimmick to it: Along with the usual hockey powers — the U.S., Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland — the entrants will include Team Europe and Team North America. Team Europe will be comprised of players from countries that don’t have the depth to field full teams — think Slovenia-born center Anze Kopitar of the Kings, among others — and Team North America will be comprised of Americans and Canadians who are 23 or younger as of Oct. 1, 2016. Here’s a link to more information.

The teams will be split into two groups, with preliminary games to start on Sept. 17. The tournament will end with a best-of-three championship format, with games on Sept. 27 and Sep. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1.

Here are more details, including who will run which teams -- Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi was previously appointed general manager of the U.S. team -- and here are some projected lineups. Never too early to speculate.

Helene.elliott@latimes.com


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