It’s only been staged twice in the past, but the World Cup of Hockey brings together the top international stars around the globe, competing for the coveted prize. The tournament, with features eight teams, is organized the National Hockey League and played under its rules. The World Cup of Hockey was previously known as the Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991. The United States won the inaugural tournament in 1996 on Canadian soil, stunning the host country 5-2 in the championship game. [+]

Players such as Brett Hull, John LeClair, Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk, put the U.S. team on the hockey map with the shocking victory. However, the Canadians redeemed themselves eight years later by winning the tournament after defeating Finland in the final. Three-time Stanley Cup champion Martin Brodeur backstopped Canada to the gold medal after allowing just five goals throughout the entire tournament.

A new feature for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey is the introduction of Team North America and Team Europe — two clubs comprised of the next best players from Canada and United States as well as countries not included in the tournament.

Tkachuk is the tournament’s all-time leading goal scorer with 10 goals in 12 games played. He’s also the all-time leader in points with 12 — recording six in each of the previous two tournaments. Both milestones are sure to fall, as the tournament will now be held regularly every four years.

The Great One — Wayne Gretzky — played in the 1996 tournament for Team Canada, picking up three goals and four assists in seven games.

Best World Cup Of Hockey Odds

The action all begins on Sept. 17 with a pair of mouth-watering matchups. First, Team USA will face Team Europe in a highly anticipated game. [+]

Later on, the defending champion Canadians will host the Czech Republic at the Air Canada Centre.

Not surprisingly, both the Canadians and Americans are favrorites to escape their World Cup of Hockey openers with crucial victories.

Follow all the action and keep track of the up-to-date live odds before placing your wagers on any team competing at the World Cup of Hockey.

What Are The World Cup Of Hockey

When following the World Cup of Hockey round-robin standings, expect Canada and Russia to be at the top of their groups. [+]

The Canadians dominated the 2004 tournament, finishing the group stage with a perfect 3-0 record, while the Russians were right behind at 2-1.

Be sure to keep track of theh round-robin standing to gain the upper hand before putting your money down during the World Cup of Hockey.

How To Make Money Betting On World Cup Of Hockey

When the puck drops for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the pressure will be on the Canadians.

A winner of the last two gold medals at Olympic Winter Games, Canada is once again the favorite to capture the World Cup of Hockey title at -105 according to the Bovada oddsmakers. How can you bet against a team not only coached by Mike Babcock, but also featuring stars such as Sidney Crosby, Jamie Benn, Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos?

Canada will compete in Group A, which also consists of Team USA (+600), Czec Republic (+2000) and Team Europe (+3300).

While the Canadians are odds-on favorites, they must not look past the Russians, who are right behind at +400 to win the championship. Alexander Ovechkin has been shut out when it comes to international competitions and will be hungry to grab gold in Toronto.

Along with Russia, Group B will include Sweden (+500), Finland (+1400) and Team North America (+1600).

But don’t count out the Swedes, who round out the top three favorites at +500 — a bet worth considering as they could surprise a lot of teams, including Canada.

The Swedes have two of the best defencemen — Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Erik Karlsson — and bright young stars up front, including Nashville Predators sniper Filip Forsberg.

Ready to put your money on the World Cup of Hockey? Here are some online sportsbook options that will help make your betting decisions easier.