|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 02/24/2014 : 14:14:02
If Islanders GM Garth Snow has his way, there will be no NHLers at the next winter Olympic games. I'm not sure what his point of view was before the games, but with star player John Tavares injured during the Olympics (and now out for the season), one can understand how he feels. Well – to a degree.
I don't agree with his comment that "it's a joke" that NHLers are allowed to play in the Olympics, and that it should just be amateurs. And for Snow's comment that it "not only affects their playoff hopes, but also paying fans who wanted to see him (Tavares) play," I think he's dreaming a bit if he thought the Islanders had a chance of making the playoffs this season. As for "paying fans" who want to see Tavares play, I understand this comment to a degree.
But what about the hockey fans (many who are paying fans) who watch the Olympics in huge numbers around the world?
While it can be argued that Snow (or other league GM's, or owners of NHL teams) should only care about their own team (and fans), what about promoting the game on a world stage? Or what about the players' wishes?
Sure – the owners pay the freight, but the players (and NHLPA) should have a say, and the best players want to be at the Olympics! And what does it cost the NHL (or teams) in lost revenues anyway? While the league shuts down for 3 weeks, not one regular season game is missed – they still play 82 games in an Olympic season.
And the Olympics are only played every four years, so while the risk of losing a player to injury is real, an "average all-star player" may be compete in the Olympics 2-3 times in their career. (Which works out to maybe a dozen games in a player's career.)
Sure – the risk of injury is there, but the risk is there in league play too! For the majority of NHL players who do not play in the Olympics, the three week break probably reduces injuries. And what about the number of players who were injured before the Olympic games, who are now rested and healed due to the three week break?
If I'm an owner or GM, I would let my players play in the Olympics. It's great PR for the league, and it's a way of giving back to the fans. And surely the top players deserve the opportunity to compete for their country every four years. And as a hockey fan (and season ticket holder), I love Olympic hockey, and I would not cancel my season tickets because a player on "my" team was injured. But I'm also Canadian, and with the success Canada has enjoyed at the Olympics (with their best players competing), I want to see it continue.
I think Steve Yzerman sums it up best, as he contemplates his own influence (and preference): “I’m not sure there’s much I can do. But I certainly hope the NHL stays. In my opinion, this is great for hockey. We’re trying to grow our sport. The Olympics is the biggest stage worldwide for any sport. I think this is tremendous for our game and I believe it’s tremendous for the National Hockey League.”
|4 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 02/26/2014 : 14:43:22
It might also be an opportunity to bring peace between the NHL and KHL. Like you say, cash is the driving force, might gap the divide between the two leagues, and lead to bigger things. Any chance to see the best of the best is of the greater interest to the fans and the owners, I would think.
The Oil WILL make the playoffs in 2014.
||Posted - 02/24/2014 : 23:10:44
Guest4006 - Excelelnt post. I agree with a lot of it, but I do see the other side too.
The whole "Olympics are for amateurs" thing I've always found odd. I mean, how many professional cross country ski leagues are there??? How about Luge? You get what I mean? Look at the snowboarders. Maybe not all, but guys like Shaun White are mega rich with either endorsements or the cash I assume they win at the x-games ( I could be wrong but I assume there's cash prizes?).
OilinOntario - My prob with the idea of bringing back the Canada Cup or it's equal is that the only reason the NHL is interested in this over the Olympics boils down to CASH and CASH only! The NHL would run this and the profits would go to the NHL and it's teams whereas the Olympics offer them nothing financially except for world wide exposure. The owner of the NYI prob doesn't care too much about the 4 jersey's he may sell in Latvia because a couple of fans there decided they liked Jon Tavares???
||Posted - 02/24/2014 : 16:15:51
I always thought the spirit of the Olympics was to showcase non-professional athletes? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing the players from the NHL and KHL compete, and would quite likely be disinterested to some degree if each team was comprised of amateurs.
Bring back the World (nee Canada) Cup! Make it more world-friendly, so it is sanctioned by both of the big leagues and have it every two years.
Personally, I would not have watched a minute of the Oly's, if it wasn't for the hockey. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.
The Oil WILL make the playoffs in 2014.
||Posted - 02/24/2014 : 15:15:11
Thanks for posting. This was great, you had something to say and you took the time to say it. I couldn't agree more and I love that you pointed out that the players that were injured prior to the Olympics are now healed and rested.
I would also add that this is a great opportunity for the owner to put their young players on a pedestrial. Look at the Latvian goalie, all of a sudden his value might have gone up, wouldn't you think. Or what about the finn called Mikael Granlund. He did awesome and this is great news for the Minnesota Wild. And there is many other stories like this ever four years.
Keep the NHL players in the Olympics, it's good for the game and the fans.