There has been a lot of talk lately that the NHL may pull out of Olympic competition. News broke today that they may have good reason. Tomas Kopecky of the Florida Panthers is likely don’t playing Olympic Hockey for the rest of the 2014 Sochi games. Adding fuel to the burning question, should the NHL players play in 2018?
There is no arguing that the NHL players make the Olympic hockey games fun to watch, but how is it fun when your NHL team get hit by the injury bug while they don’t even have a game? The injury to Kopcky is the second Olympic ending injury to a Panthers player so far. The other is Aleksander Barkov who suffered a knee injury in Finland’s game against Norway.
The hit that felled Kopecky, leaving him wobbly on his feet, brought a one-game suspension for Slovenia’s Sabahudan Kovacevic,
Tomas Kopecky was not setting the Olympic on fire, in fact he hasn’t registered a point in two games, but he did bring Olympic experance to the ice, and that is something that is not easy to replace.
It’s injuries like this that give me a strong feeling that the NHL and the owners will try everything they can to keep their players state side in 2018. At some point the NHL and it’s players will need to figure this out. I can see both side of the issue, but something tells me as much as I would rather see my teams players safe and sound getting ready to take the NHL ice; I just don’t know how that will happen.