Late Monday afternoon, the National Hockey League released a statement where it said NHL players could not go to the Olympics in South Korea in 2018. Their main issue (or claim) is that player injury is way too big of a risk, while also not being in primetime television time slots.
Everyone, including myself, is very angry and unhappy. We can thank John Tavares for this. Missing a whole bunch of time after slamming into the boards in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. One injury to one star player has totally ruined everything. The Olympics are supposed to be the biggest stage in the world. Players take extreme pride in playing for their respective countries. So, if it’s the biggest stage, and with the supposed best players in the world, why is the NHL being so uptight? Money. We saw how quickly the NHL tried forcing the World Cup of Hockey on us. They support that, because they (the NHL) make money off of it. All of a sudden, player injuries don’t seem to matter.
An interesting situation will come about when we start getting opinions from players, now that the case is closed. Alexander Ovechkin has said multiple times that he’s “going no matter what”. Which he should. He’s a superstar. Ted Leonsis supports him, which is great. It shows the corrupt NHL that hockey is bigger than one league.
Many hope that all potential Olympians go, just to stick it to Gary Bettman. If there’s a mass exodus of Olympian NHL players, what can the NHL do? Bettman and Co. will be losing many faster than Bettman can say “lockout”. While everyone has a right to be upset, Bettman needs to do some serious thinking, before the NHL loses fans.