The IIHF are considering holding all future international events on NHL-sized rinks ©Getty Images

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is considering holding all international competitions on National Hockey League (NHL) sized rinks.

Ice in a standard NHL arena is around 61 metres long and 26m wide, while surfaces in many European rinks are about 4.5m wider.

The IIHF World Junior Championships finished yesterday in Vancouver's Rogers Arena, which is home of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. 

According to CTV, having watched the competition, IIHF President Rene Fasel believes smaller ice can improve the excitement of matches.

"More and more now when we are watching the games, especially the juniors here in Canada, maybe one of the reasons the tournament here is on a very high level, maybe, is the size of the small ice," Fasel has been quoted as saying.

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver was also played on a smaller surface, largely because costs for building a larger one were considered too high.

Fasel said the standard there was "exceptional" as well.

IIHF President Rene Fasel believes smaller rinks can help make matches more exciting ©Getty Images
IIHF President Rene Fasel believes smaller rinks can help make matches more exciting ©Getty Images

The IIHF are looking at using NHL-sized surfaces at both the 2022 World Championships in Finland and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

"That should be our goal, that in the future we should have the same size that we have here in North America," Fasel said.

He added, though, that teams and Federations in Europe do not all agree.

"When you speak with the older guys in Europe, they are maybe not so much in favour," he said.

"But we maybe need that change."

Next year's World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic will still use a larger surface, with crowds expected to be smaller than at this year's Canadian event.

Finland claimed the gold in this year's tournament with a 3-2 final win over the United States yesterday.