A guide to the world championships
Here's a look at hockey's latest world rankings as we head into international championship season.
Countries are colour coded as per which tournament they'll be playing in. Those in red are taking part in the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Quebec and Halifax beginning May 2 (full legend at bottom):
Tournament - city, country - start date
Division IA - Innsbruck, Austria - April 13
Division IB - Sapporo, Japan - April 13
Division IIA - Miercurea Ciuc, Romania - April 7
Division IIB - Newcastle, Australia - April 7
Division III - Luxembourg - March 31
Division IIIQ - Sarajevo, Bosnia - ended Feb. 17
Who says hockey's not the world's game?
It'd certainly be interesting to see some of these tournaments, as outside of the Big Seven countries, the talent level really drops off. The Division I games would be comparable to a low level of pro hockey, but below that, these are teams that would be beaten up by rep teams of 14- and 15-year-olds in Canada.
Greece won the Division III qualification tournament, for those keeping track.