2023 Men's IIHF World Championship Format, Schedule and History

2023 men's IIHF World Championship format, schedule and history.
2023 men's IIHF World Championship format, schedule and history. / (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

As the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll on, another high-profile hockey event is about to get underway: the 2023 men's IIHF World Championship. This international tournament will see 16 countries vie for the gold medal.

Here's everything fans need to know before the event kicks off.

IIHF World Championship 2023 Format

The men's IIHF World Championship once again features 16 teams that are split into two groups (A and B). Play begins in a round-robin format, with every team playing each member of its group once. The top four teams after these initial contests move on to the quarterfinals.

Adding to the stakes is the threat of relegation. The bottom two performers in each group will be demoted from the Championship level to Division 1a for next year's World Championships.

The quarterfinals then feature cross-group matchups. The first-placed team from one group will play the fourth-placed team from the other group, and the same goes for the second- and third-placed squads.

There is one exception, though. If hosts Finland and Latvia both qualify and are slated to play each other, then quarterfinal matchups will take place within groups (i.e. Group A's first-placed team would play its fourth-placed team, instead of Group B's).

Teams are then re-seeded for the semifinals based on how they performed in the group stage. The finals of the World Championship include a bronze- and a gold-medal game, with the loser of the latter receiving the silver.

IIHF World Championship 2023 Schedule by Day

Friday, May 12

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: FIN v USA, SVK v CZE
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: SWE v GER, LAT v CAN

Saturday, May 13

  • 5:20 a.m. ET: FRA v AUT, SUI v SLO
  • 9:20 a.m. ET: HUN v DEN, NOR v KAZ
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: GER v FIN, SVK v LAT

Sunday, May 14

  • 5:20 a.m. ET: USA v HUN, SLO v CAN
  • 9:20 a.m. ET: FRA v DEN, NOR v SUI
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: SWE v AUT, CZE v KAZ

Monday, May 15

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: GER v USA, SVK v CAN
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: FIN v SWE, CZE v LAT

Tuesday, May 16

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: DEN v AUT, SLO v NOR
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: FRA v HUN, SUI v KAZ

Wednesday, May 17

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: USA v AUT, LAT v NOR
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: FIN v FRA, CAN v KAZ

Thursday, May 18

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: HUN v SWE, CZE v SLO
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: DEN v GER, SUI v SVK

Friday, May 19

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: HUN v FIN, LAT v SLO
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: AUT v GER, KAZ v SVK

Saturday, May 20

  • 5:20 a.m. ET: USA v DEN, NOR v CZE
  • 9:20 a.m. ET: AUT v FIN, CAN v SUI
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: SWE v FRA, KAZ v LAT

Sunday, May 21

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: GER v HUN, SLO v SVK
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: USA v FRA, CZE v SUI

Monday, May 22

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: DEN v SWE, CAN v NOR
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: AUT v HUN, KAZ v SLO

Tuesday, May 23

  • 5:20 a.m. ET: GER v FRA, SVK v NOR
  • 9:20 a.m. ET: SWE v USA, CAN v CZE
  • 1:20 p.m. ET: FIN v DEN, SUI v LAT

Wednesday, May 24

  • Off Day

Thursday, May 25

  • Quarterfinal Games (4)

Friday, May 26

  • Off Day

Saturday, May 27

  • Semifinal Games (2)

Sunday, May 28

  • Gold and Bronze Medal Games

Which country has won the most IIHF World Championships?

Canada leads in IIHF World Championship gold medals with 27 all-time. The country's most recent win was in 2021 after taking down Finland. Following Canada on the leaderboard is Sweden with 11. The former Soviet Union won 22 gold medals but now competes as Russia, which has won six gold medals.

Which country has the most IIHF World Championship medals?

Canada also leads all countries with a total of 52 medals all-time at the IIHF World Championship. Along with 27 gold medals, they've taken home 16 silver and nine bronze. Sweden trails slightly with 47 medals in its history, the most of which are silver (19).

Who has hosted the most IIHF World Championships?

Sweden's served as host or co-host of the IIHF World Championships 11 times, which is the most in history. The country's most recent stint was in 2013 alongside Finland. The Swedes are scheduled to co-host again in 2025.

Where is the 2023 IIHF World Championship?

The men's 2023 IIHF World Championship will be co-hosted by Finland and Latvia. The action will be split across two cities, with Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia serving as hosts.

Which player has the most IIHF World Championship medals all-time?

Vladislav Tretiak of the former Soviet Union holds the most IIHF World Championship medals all-time with 13 total. His 10 gold medals are tied with fellow Soviet Union player Alexander Ragulin for tops in history.

Can NHL players play in the IIHF World Championship?

Yes, NHL players can participate in the IIHF World Championship. There are no limits on how many pros can be sent, but since the event usually takes place during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, this often limits the pool.

Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.