It's certaintly a hot stove issue. I bet most players would be upset but then ask them whether they would choose multi million dollar salaries or the olympics and im sure they'd choose the first. Besides the owner who looses the star player and the player who misses some games, fact of the matter is that ALMOST all owners and players win from this. As an owner and looking at it as a business, it's worth that minimal risk to expose the sport. I havent seen a espn headline or a major newspaper headline in the states or as much talk of hockey in the US besdies during this time. It comes at a time when there's 25 games left and the playoffs are a couple months away. I think the exposure is valuable dollar wise for the owners so i wouldn't rule out nhl guys in the olympics beyond vancouver.
A normal year a Olympic without any NHL players would have really low quality. Allot of people are very found of that idea. IMO its almost a joke and I really doubt all who says its such a great idea with just "amateurs" actually would watch it, it would be like a AHL allstar game. Soccer is that way in the summer olympics and that soccer tournament is barely broadcasted. Either the NHL participates or hockey should be scratched all together in the olympics.
Though I personally think there is another option and that is to make the WJC parts of the olympics every 4th year. However what is the odds of the Olympic brass coming up with the same idea???
Why can't it be like Soccer, where the World Cup is for the pros?
This has been great hockey but the season interruption is tough.
Don't mind Vancouver 2010 though, because the travel won't be difficult. USA should be good again by then too, Montoya or Miller in net, Ryan Suter holding down the D, Kessel up front, Ortmeyer wearing the C