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08-26-2013, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
But there's little carry over from the Olympics to NHL viewership. Maybe people pay attention to hockey because it's a novelty they enjoy every four years. I don't seek out gymnastics or figure skating, but I'll certainly watch them during the Olympics.

Personally, i feel if the NHL was concerned with growing the sport, they wouldn't have had two prolonged work stoppages in a decade.
The availability of those other sports outside of the olympics is minimal. It's a lot easier for a casual fan to find hockey on TV than it is gymnastics or figure skating. But what the actual benefit is in growing the sport, I have no idea. I know the 1980 olympics did a lot to grow the sport, for obvious reasons, but NHL players didn't participate.

I think this is one of those "keep the players happy" kind of things. Can you imagine the backlash if the NHL chose not to participate? The Russian players would revolt if the NHL told them they couldn't play in the olympics in their home country. Given the emergence of the KHL, I don't think that's a fight worth fighting.

I suppose the NHL could leave it up to the teams to decide whether or not their players can go, like they do with the WJC, and just have a lighter schedule during the olympics so those who participate won't miss that many games. But that may result in some bad blood between players and teams.

There's probably no ideal solution.

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