So the NHL has officially killed the remaining hopes and dreams that we would see NHL stars win medals in the 2018 Olympics. I know they have their reasons and I’m sure they have some valid points. The biggest reason that we are hearing is that the owners are not getting enough incentive to allow the players to go overseas and take an extended break in the middle of the season. That to me translates to “We want you to give us the money we’re losing during the break” even though in the grand scheme of things they aren’t losing money it’s just making the season longer but all the games are still being played.
However, I can see both sides to the argument. Coming from the perspective of the team owners and managers if your team gets on a really good roll right before the Olympics and then has to take a break that can cause a halt in the momentum. Not to mention how many times have we seen this happen guys go to the Olympics end up injured and then can’t play upon their return. That’s also something I’m sure that is on their list of why they don’t want players participating in them. They invest a lot of money in these players to be able to play for them during the season.
From a players perspective, they want to grow the game and going to the Olympics is a sure fire way to get their names out there as well as grow the game. It will help the game get attention in places in may not get attention in regularly. It will help increase the fan base. It will help boost players egos which is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing depending on the player. It gives them something to look forward to knowing that this only happens once every four years for them to play in the Olympic games. It gives them added recognition besides just NHL accolades.
From a fan perspective, Well I’m a fan and really I only watched the last two winter Olympics because of hockey. I watched it because I wanted to support the Us born players from the league. The talent level that you get when watching with NHL players is incredible. However, let’s not take away from the fact that the KHL and other European hockey leagues also have some very talented players of their own. Also, as much as I do enjoy watching the NHL talent be showcased during these international games, I think it would be really nice to give non NHL players a chance to prove their skills. That is what is exciting about Olympic games is supporting these athletes that you don’t regularly hear of.
USA Hockey has some really talented players that are up and coming and it would be really nice to see them get a shot on a grand stage to play hockey with millions of people watching them. If they do well in the Olympics that will absolutely help to boost their careers because they will get the attention that they need. I know, I know but you want the “best players in the world” to play in the Olympic games. How can you say that non NHL players you haven’t seen play aren’t the best at what they do. They could very well be just as talented and haven’t made it to the NHL yet because maybe they’re still playing college hockey or something like that.
Those are some of my thoughts and feelings on the matter. Feel free to share yours in the comment section below.