Vote: Should the NHL participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics?
Spoiler, most of Raw Charge said yes.
GeoFitz4: Yes. It all comes down to this... I want to see Stamkos win an Olympic gold. He's not getting any younger and he missed his chance at Sochi with his broken leg. He'll be 28 by the time the Olympics come around and 32 by the next one. If he's lucky, he's got two chances to get that Gold medal. It'd be really disappointing if he never even got a chance to get one in his career.
Achariya: I side with the league here. Sending players to Korea is costly in both time and money, and it's clear that the International Olympics Committee is providing no assistance to owners or the league for sending their players. The cost will fall to the IIHF, but will they be able to completely cover the millions that the trip will require in insurance and travel costs?
This season's compressed schedule has also been tremendously rough on players' health, and the Olympics would have an even greater impact. Is it worth it, in the end, to see whether Canada is still stronger than the US or Sweden or Russia, when we already kind of know from the World Cup?
elseldo: I vote yes. The Olympics is about the best athletes in their field competing against the best.
Since tossing the "amateur" part out the window in 1996 we've grown accustomed to this. I've never watched Olympic hockey that hasn't included NHLers and I'd have no reason to go out of my way to watch a 10 p.m. or 7 a.m. game without them (or a dreaded 2:30 a.m. game). Many players have said they'd be going regardless of the NHL's decisions, so they may as well just vote to go rather than put several teams at a disadvantage of the NHL's own making.
JustinG.: Sure why not?
Part of my says no, Olympics are for amateurs. As elseldo mentions it’s been 20 years since that has been true which means I’m old and there is an entire generation of fans that don’t remember young American college kids getting their asses kicked by Russian Army teams.
The players really seem to want to go so let them. It would be nice to see Steven Stamkos and Taylor Raddish with gold medals. Besides, I’m usually awake at 2:30 a.m. so it would be nice to watch some hockey.
It never seems to be a problem for the owners when the Olympics are in North America (probably because one of their own is making money by hosting it in their building). While the overseas aspect is cause for concern I think they exaggerate it a bit. Yes, injuries will occur, but they also happen in practice, preseason and everyday life. Pay the insurance costs, use it as excuse to grow the game and sell more jersey and everyone wins.
If the owners were smart they would begrudgingly agree to it for the next Olympics and then use it as a bargaining chip for the next CBA.
waffleboardsave: Absolutely. How do you grow the game of hockey, which the league claims is a priority, if your best players don’t participate in the Olympics?
There also seems to be this China vs. South Korea thing where the league wants to participate in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing because of growing interest in the sport there.
South Korea has both a men’s and women’s national team — the men’s team has even added eight Canadian ringers, some with NHL experience, to its team for 2018. They’re coached by a former NHL player. They’re taking the Olympics seriously, and to dismiss the NHL’s participation there sounds insulting.
I also don’t feel much sympathy (if at all) for a group of rich owners worried about not making as much rich-person money because the league has to shut down for a few weeks.
Besides, do you know how you might begin to recoup the money you stand to lose?
Make the playoffs.
Should the NHL send players to the 2018 Winter Olympics?
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