Saturday, April 4, 2020

Why won’t the NHL allow its players to consult with the 2018 Winter Olympics?


Some familiar faces will probably be absent for the 2018 Winter Olympics: NHL players representing their countries inside men’s ice hockey tournament.

After months of negotiating with the IIHF, world hockey’s governing body, the NHL announced on Monday the reason is players will not be engaging in the PyeongChang Games. The NHL is opposed to a 17-day robbery the NHL schedule to allow the matches.

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The NHL said within a statement: “In a feat for making clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, our intention [is] to proceed with finalizing our 2019-18 regular-season schedule with no break to support the Olympic Winter Games. We have now take into account the matter officially closed.”

Olympic participation has become a 2010 hot-button issue among fans and players. Although a selection may be reached, for some the controversy won’t continue.

With last year’s gimmicky World Cup of Hockey drawing mixed reviews, additionally, the annual world championships still not offering by far the best players, NHL players participating in the Olympics for the true best-on-best tournament has become a celebrated and anticipated event about the hockey calendar.

So while hockey fans are certainly at a disadvantage, you’ll be able the NHL could end up suffering inside long-term in addition.

So, really: why aren’t players going?

Money, naturally. After Canadian and Nyc Islanders star John Tavares was injured in the 2019 Olympics and missed the rest of the regular season, team owners and executives realized they had been putting their assets at an increased risk.

The IOC just isn’t giving the same deal towards NHL that this did in 2019 with regards to travel and insurance rates – and that is in the middle with the NHL leaving. The NHL as well as owners don’t benefit from the Olympics they complete the World Cup of Hockey.

Unless, certainly, you deem exposure of the stars and also the game at its best as the profit. That is not the best way this league sees it.

Does the NHL need the Olympics?

Yes. The NHL remains light years far from as being a globally recognized league similar to the NBA, and also the Olympics are definitely the perfect probability to increase professional hockey’s exposure. These tournaments have routinely provided the best hockey we’ve seen a lot and it’s really the type of hockey that your league is moving towards: fast-paced, all skill without fighting.

Since the 2019 Olympics, the NHL has welcomed a crop of generational players, including Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. These are players the fact that league may ultimately come up with faces within the game and PyeongChang, might be a perfect destination for these phones begin their ascent as hockey’s next Crosbys and Ovechkins.

You see, many hardcore hockey fans realize that the best players in the world have vanilla-type personalities, and shrug off of the notion that just about any league rivalry might be built between McDavid and Matthews. But nothing says rivalry in hockey like Canada-USA, USA-Russia and Sweden-Finland, all of these would feature earth’s biggest stars.

That’s what you could sell, and that’s what any other companies like those invoved with Columbia and China would buy. But that is not how the league sees it.

What’s doing this regarding a schedule change?

In 2019, the NHL halted play between 9 and 25 February to permit their players to travel to Sochi with the Winter Olympics. Furthermore they did not have any all-star game.

Had NHL players done PyeongChang, similar changes to your 2019-18 season schedule were expected.

Have there been any recent complaints about the NHL’s schedule?

Big time. To allow for the NHL-sanctioned World Cup prior to the season, the latter-half from the NHL season has featured a cramped schedule. The Toronto Maple Leafs, one example is, should have 11 games inside their final 19 times a normal season. From a league that’s skewing younger, this may be especially taxing on players which have not acclimatized themselves to your late-season grind.

Furthermore, the NHL also gave each team a “bye week” this year to handle schedule changes, meaning no practices or games for five days. But even that’s met with disdain from players, coaches and executives.

How do players experience not going to the Olympics?

Maple Leafs and Canada coach Mike Babcock and Buffalo Sabres and USA star Jack Eichel voiced disappointment on Monday night, while Canadian goaltender Carey Price and Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist said similar.

Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson was blunt in his assessment: “Whoever made that decision obviously was clueless that as to what they certainly.”

The NHL players’ union released a statement on Monday condemning the NHL’s “short-sighted” decision.

“The players are extraordinarily disappointed and disagree while using the NHL’s short-sighted decision to not ever continue our participation while in the Olympics,” it read. “Any type of inconvenience the Olympics might cause to next season’s schedule can be a small investment in comparison to the possiblity to showcase our game and our greatest players within this enormous international stage.

“The league’s efforts responsible others for its decision is really as unfortunate for the reason that decision itself. NHL players are patriotic and in addition they don’t take such this lightly. A fair respect for any opinions in the players matters. This can be the NHL’s decision, as well as alone. It is extremely unfortunate to the game, players and many loyal hockey fans.”

Alex Ovechkin, one of most vocal proponents of NHL participation inside Olympics, didn’t backpedal on Tuesday either, praoclaiming that although still proceed to the Olympics regardless of NHL participation.

“I didn’t change my head we won’t,” he was quoted saying in Toronto. “It’s my country. Complete thing . to experience there. It does not take biggest opportunity of my entire life to learn in the Olympics.”

Does this implies NHL players will not be playing any future Olympics?

Tough to tell. The 2022 Beijing Games, in the market the NHL clearly has eyes on, was the bargaining chip the IOC had. Whether or not the NHL’s decision emboldens the IOC to never offer any financial help to get players to China remains to be seen. Nevertheless, an important not enough foresight through the NHL could hurt the increase with the game in market that seems prime for the taking.

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So NHL players won’t go: there appears to be a men’s hockey tournament, right?

I don’t see you could start to. You can find hundreds of Canadian and American players playing abroad and in junior and amateur leagues, along with some of the best non-NHL players from the Kontinental Hockey League and Swedish Hockey League. This just will never be a best-on-best tournament, and as a result of time difference to major North American and European markets, the ratings will probably suffer.

Is there the chance that some players go rogue nonetheless compete inside Olympics?

I hope so. The NHL deserves to be publicly embarrassed about this, of course, if we have a player that believes playing for his country trumps playing for his club, he should book his ticket to South Korea.

Some NHL owners, for example Ted Leonis on the Washington Capitals, have backed his players wish to go, telling late recently: “(Ovechkin) knows I’ve got his back on this one. Seems like what is so crucial that you him and that he wishes to look at the Olympics, he are able to make this happen. Alex has meant a whole lot to us. He doesn’t ask for much back. I am not saying shy about saying it, I might support the player in this case.”

This all sounds detrimental to hockey.

That’s as it is. Mexico may not be China, but also for a league and game that should be aimed at overall growth, that is a serious missed opportunity.

The NHL has further driven a wedge between themselves as well as their star players because of this decision, virtually all just who want to see a Olympics.

It’s a league still drenched inside of a conservative mentality that’s prevented proper player safety on the subject of its backwards-ass prevention of headshots, fighting and concussions.

The players lose because a tournament they really love playing in. And others players who do go, NHL you aren’t, defintely won’t be in the proper fan attention, possibly outside of spite. And at last, just in the event the visceral hate for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was slowly starting to subside, he’s going to again ended up being the punching bag for thus many fans.

OK, but creates this change mean someone except for Canada could win the gold medal?

Canada won the gold medal within the 1952 Winter Olympics and didn’t win again for Five decades. The majority of those tournaments were played by amateur players.

Canada has since won gold on the 2002, 2010 and 2019 tournaments.

Given that this decision likely opens the door for professional players inside the KHL and Swedish Hockey League to participate, arguably the other and third-best leagues in the world, I’d wager Canada won’t help to increase their recent gold medal haul.

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