The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia may have the NHL Players there, but should they go? It’s a hard question to answer. On one side the Olympics have become countries putting their very best talent on the ice to compete for gold. One the other side the Olympics started out as an amateur competition. I land some were In the middle on this one. There are a few points I would like to get into.
1. If the NHL sends their players it would need a work stoppage, while it nothing like a strike the NHL did just miss half a season of hockey. I understand that the exposure from the Olympics is good for the NHL and it’s bottom line, but I don’t think 2014 is the best time to take another break from play.
Daly said the League’s schedule would go into recess after games played Feb. 8, 2014 and wouldn’t resume until Feb. 25, two days after the gold-medal game. NHL players participating in the Olympics would arrive in Sochi no later than Feb. 10. The first full practice day at the Olympics would be Feb. 11, and the tournament is scheduled to open Feb. 12.(NHL.com)
2. If the NHL stays in North America for the 2013-2014 season some international fans may feel that the NHL snubbed the Winter Olympics. The NHL can not afford any more bad press, but I wouldn’t mind seeing an Olympics that has more “amateur” players in it. Why not allow teams to send players from their Farm Club, or the kids they just drafted to go play. It would give them a chance to see they game in a new light. It may even be a great learning experience for them.
It’s not like I am agents NHL players in the Olympics, but there is something to the thought that young kids who still have something to prove could be just as good of a draw as the NHL players. I know, I know this is not 1980, but a guy can wish can’t he? I fully understand countries want to win, and so do the fans. However we see the NHL players play all the time. It just doesn’t have the right feel to me. It does give fans a bunch of different teams to cheer for, and that is a great thing for the sport. I don’t really see a bad play here. Stay or go Olympic hockey is a great game to watch. After all it really is about your country right? I guess it all depends on your point of view.
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Did you know? 1998 is when NHL players first competed on Olympic ice in Nagano, Japan.