The Hockey Championship the U.S. Men Just Can’t Seem to Win

Instead, players are hastily recruited from teams that did not make the playoffs or were knocked out quickly. While some of the players are N.H.L. journeymen, strong players like Tyler Toffoli of Canada (73 points for the Calgary Flames this season) suit up, too. And just about every superstar — Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid — has played in the event.

Still, the tournament often gets overlooked by fans more intent on following the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Players who win a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and a world championship belong to what’s known as the Triple Gold Club — a feat achieved by Peter Forsberg of Sweden, Viacheslav Fetisov of Russia, Crosby of Canada, and Jaromir Jagr of the Czech Republic, among others. But no Americans.

Because most of the international teams are missing superstar players, everyone is equally disadvantaged and the best hockey countries tend to win. Besides this year’s winner, Canada, the other champions in this century have been Finland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic and Slovakia. But not the United States.

Technically, the United States won a “world championship” in 1960. But it was at the Olympics, which was considered a world championship at the time. (That rule changed before the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic victory of 1980.) But even if you credit one or both of those wins, it has been a long time since U.S. men won gold.

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