I think the issue is not so much as the Olympics but the fact that the Olympics will be in Russia in 2014 and thast it falls right into the middle of the season. The Olympics in Vancouver and Salt Lake City were not nearly as bad as when it was in Nagano. The players that went to Nagano were really wiped as the schedule was really cramped, the jet lag, time difference etc. It affected how they played in the final stretch and in the playoffs. Not to mention that some star players were injured in the tournament and couldn't play for their NHL team when they returned.
All that being said...I would terribly miss the NHL players in the Olympics. I used to love watching the amateurs play before the NHL players went but now that I have seen the players compete, there is no turning back.
BTW before Canada sent their best players they had not won gold since 1952...why? because they were forced to sent amateurs and young guys that had not turned pro whereas the Europeans sent more experienced players. The NHL has truly become a league full of players from all countries and it will be very hard for them to stop them all from playing in the Olympics.
Sounds to me like a simple negotiation tactic seeing as the CBA might be opened up in another what, 3 years? If Bettman could use Olympic Participation to get the players to concede on another issue, why wouldn't he? Otherwise he is just giving it away for nothing.
the olympics isn't only about amateurs...the best players from every country, professional or not, should have the option of representing their countries. does the NHL want to lose ovechkin and every other star that wants to play? let them play once every 4 years, they're insured anyways.
I'm interested in seeing what, if any, Canadian players go out and make that kind of statement...
Everybody is falling over themselves right now about how proud they are to be Canadian and representing Canada, all the players, management, media, etc
but who among them ACTUALLY bleeds the maple leaf?
enough to risk the suspension, enough to risk the financial losses or the risk of being black balled by the NHL?
You'd have to think that the media and the Canadian public would absoutely idolize any player that did so, but are Canadian athletes as proud to represent their country as Ovechkin is?
interesting to see.
If the NHL does pull out the players, it's a bush league move. They agreed to go to Nagano largely because they new Salt Lake City was coming up, and the owners were easily sold by the $$/attention that playing in the games would provide.
Staying for Torino to get to Vancouver was a no-brainer, but with no idea when it will next be in North America AND the fact that Salt Lake City clearly did nothing to improve the standing of the sport in the U.S (as witnessed by the problems of so many U.S franchises), the owners/Bettman all of a sudden don't see the Olympics as being the personal cash cow they hoped it would be...
We, as Canadians, clearly cherish being able to follow and cheer on Canada's best at the Olympics, it's incumbent on us to show the NHL that our interests should be taken into account... unfortunately, the love for hockey runs deep, and I doubt any hab/leaf/nuck/flames/senator/oiler fan is going to stop following the team just because the owners collectively give us the finger...
hopefully the Players step up to the plate and earn the worship and praise we so heavily shower them with.
Good on Ovechkin... Let's see if Crosby is as passionate (or if the corporate pull has already turned him to the dark side).
This is yet another royally stupid idea from Bettman. I would think that someone with a keen business sense would realize that when the world is watching Hockey (the only serious team sport) at the Winter Olympics full of the NHL's best, it only acts to help promote the NHL. Any injuries that occur as a result of the Olympics in my mind are far outweighed by the press and attention the game of Hockey itself gets.
That would cause some interesting legal ramifications considering the thing he signed called a contract.
I am sure things will be resolved though so many of these quotes are just hot air.
I wonder what washington would do if he sticks to it?
he's a cornerstone of their franchise, and by then he may even have a cup ring, further cementing his hero status in the city...
would they risk taking harsh action against him?
would they do nothing and force the NHL to be the "Bad Guy"?
Would the NHL be able to force owners/teams to take action against players who left to play?
what happens if several key players on a team make the same decision?
because really, with a player of that caliber, it's not totally unfeasible that the team would decide to cut it's on-ice losses for that season and simply let him go... they let him go back to russia this past year, obviously playing in the olympics is much different than going to a funeral, but if the team decided he was a big enough asset that they would accomodate him, how could the NHL really stop them?
either way, this will get a whole lot more interesting before it's all said and done.