The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it is the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991. The tournament has occurred twice, with the United States winning in 1996 and Canada winning in 2004.
Unlike its International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)-sanctioned counterpart, the annual World Ice Hockey Championships and Winter Olympics, the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League (NHL). As such, the games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF. The World Cup of Hockey also occurs outside of the hockey season, allowing for all the best players in the world to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the Stanley Cup playoffs.