Out of the 201 IIHF World Championships medals awarded, only twenty have been won by teams outside the Big Six and only five of those have been won since 1953 (four by Slovakia, one by Switzerland). Of the 69 Olympic ice hockey medals awarded, only 6 have not been won by a Big Six team.
- Main article: International Ice Hockey Federation#History
- Main article: Olympic Games
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IIHF Men's World ChampionshipsEdit
- Main article: Ice Hockey World Championships
Canada and United States seldom have their best players available for the IIHF World Championships, due to the conflicting time-frame of the NHL. Typically the only players available are College hockey players, NHL players whose teams have failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs and players who play in other leagues such as the AHL and SHL. The World Championships are not widely broadcast on television in North America, and have a generally weak following there. Despite this, the Canadian and American teams that compete in the World Championships are still normally easily able to defeat European teams outside of the Big Six, with a few possible exceptions, such as Slovakia.
Only the tournaments since the formation of the modern Czech Republic team are shown above.
The Canada Cup served as an ice hockey world championship that was governed by NHL rules rather than IIHF rules, and was contested in the NHL off-season so that NHL players could participate. The 1976 Canada Cup was, therefore, the first time that the best players from every country were able to meet on the ice. The tournament was held five times between 1976 and 1991. Only one team outside of the Big Six, West Germany, was ever allowed to compete in the Canada Cup; this occurred in 1984.
The World Cup of Hockey replaced the Canada Cup after the fall of the Soviet Union. It has been held twice so far, in 1996 and 2004, with current plans for the cup to start up again in 2016 and be held every four years. Eight teams compete at the World Cup: Germany and Slovakia played the first two editions, whereas a Team Europe and an under-23 Team North America will play in 2016.
Canada Cup Edit
|Year||Canada||Czechoslovakia||Finland||Soviet Union||Sweden||United States|
World Cup of HockeyEdit
|Year||Canada||Czech Republic||Finland||Russia||Sweden||United States|
The Big Six are much less pronounced in women's hockey. Though only two medals in the history of the women's Olympic tournament and IIHF World Women's Championships have been won by a team outside of the Big Six, no teams other than the United States and Canada have won the gold medal. In this sense, international women's hockey is dominated more by a "Big Two" than a "Big Six".
- ↑ "the Big Six hockey powers -- the United States, Canada, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland" "N.H.L. and Its Teams Send Players to Bench". New York Times. February 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/11/sports/olympics-hockey-nhl-and-its-teams-send-players-to-bench.html. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Figuring out the seventh and eighth teams beyond the so-called big six was the biggest hurdle to overcome in planning this event." "NHL announces World Cup of Hockey for 2016". The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. January 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/nhl-announces-world-cup-of-hockey-for-2016-1.2930670. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- ↑ "World Cup of Hockey set to return in 2016". NHL.com. January 24, 2015. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=750156. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- ↑ "Past medalists", IIHF.com. Retrieved on 2008-05-12.
- ↑ "Ice hockey – Olympics". Sports-reference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/sports/ICH/. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
- ↑ Pelletier, Joe (2003). The World Cup of Hockey. Toronto: Warwick Publishing. ISBN 1-894622-17-0.
- ↑ "Women's Olympic Results". IIHF. January 2014. http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/history/all-medallists/olympics/women.html. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- ↑ "Women's World Championships Results". IIHF. January 2014. http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/history/all-medallists/women.html. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
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