The 2008 IIHF World Championship was played between May 2 and May 18, 2008 in the Canadian cities of Halifax and Quebec City . The two venues were the Halifax Metro Centre and the Colisée Pepsi. The tournament was won by Russia which claimed its first gold medals since 1993.
|Dates||May 2 – May 18|
|Scoring leader(s)|| Dany Heatley |
The 2008 IIHF World Championship was played between May 2 and May 18, 2008 in the Canadian cities of Halifax (Nova Scotia) and Quebec City (Quebec). The two venues were the Halifax Metro Centre and the Colisée Pepsi. The tournament was won by Russia which claimed its first gold medals since 1993.
It was the 72nd IIHF World Championship event, and was run by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It was the first time the final tournament is held in a non-European country since 1962, when it was held in Colorado, USA. The IIHF wanted to celebrate the federation's 100th anniversary by holding the tournament in the country where ice hockey was born. The tournament was also included as part of the celebrations of Quebec City's 400th anniversary.
The tournament featured many countries' elite stars, as it served as the last and most important stage in selecting nine automatic qualifiers for the men's hockey competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a process that uses the IIHF World Ranking standings after the tournament.
On May 8, 2007, the IIHF announced it "will also formalize the Triple Gold Club by awarding commemorative medals to the 19 players who have won the three most prestigious championships in world hockey: Olympic gold, Stanley Cup, and World Championship gold. The ceremony will take place in Canada during the 2008 World Championship."
There were two changes in the format compared to earlier years. Because of the distance between Halifax and Quebec City, the quarter-finals were played within the group, instead of crossing over which has happened since 2000. The relegation round was different too, as it consisted of two best-of-three series instead of a round robin series between four teams.
For the first time in 40 years, the matches were played on smaller, NHL size rinks, 200 ft × 85 ft (roughly 61 m × 26 m), compared to the IIHF standard which is roughly 200 ft × 98.5 ft (61 m × 30 m).