No NHL players in the 2018 Olympics
This doesn’t surprise me really. I think that this is the one time that professional athletes actually want to compete outside the organization they belong. The Olympics to some people actually mean something. Not to Americans but to someone. It would be hard for me as a commissioner of a major sport to allow my athletes to compete in things like the Olympics. These games will be in 2018 in Pyeongchang South Korea and I’m actually excited about them. I am most likely going to go which looking at it sucks because the NHL players won’t be there.
The NHL teams are citing that they do not want to interrupt the season next year to accommodate the Olympics. Here is the full quote by Gary B.
“We have previously made clear that, while the overwhelming majority of our Clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-18 NHL season for purposes of accommodating Olympic participation by some NHL players, we were open to hearing from any of the other parties who might have an interest in the issue (e.g., the IOC, the IIHF, the NHLPA) as to reasons the Board of Governors might be interested in re-evaluating their strongly held views on the subject. A number of months have now passed and no meaningful dialogue has materialized. Instead, the IOC has now expressed the position that the NHL’s participation in Beijing in 2022 is conditioned on our participation in South Korea in 2018.
And the NHLPA has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the Clubs. As a result, and in an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 Regular Season schedule without any break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games. We now consider the matter officially closed.”
NHL players being used in the Olympics is actually a new thing having first being done in 1998 in Nagano. The games started getting heat from NHL owners because it’s the only sport that actually takes the time off for the games. The travel cost for the NHL players was to the tune of $14 million dollars for Sochi. Even though the IOC paid for it then they aren’t going to do it a second time spelling doom for the Olympics using NHL players.
I will be very interested next year to see what happens with the players. Some of these guys will really want to play for their country maybe creating a standoff when the time comes around.
In the end, there is just too much risk involved for something that isn’t making the NHL any revenue. When major players get hurt and it affects their bottom line it’s all but over.