What comes to mind when you think of the winter Olympics. For me, my mind goes directly to hockey. For anyone who knows me, or is viewing my site, hockey is my biggest love. The Olympics has always been one of those events in the hockey world that speaks to everyone. It is an event where the greatest players from around the world come together for a medal and bragging rights for their country.
In years past, NHL players have proven to be one of the highlights of the Olympic games. The games are a place where NHL rivals become teammates and NHL teammates become rivals. The underlying story lines propel the competition from just a game to something fans can get involved with. Not to mention for teams like the USA and Canada, their rosters are made up entirely of NHL stars, and that’s for a reason, they are the best and most exciting in the world.
Now the NHL is debating whether or not NHL players should be able to compete in the Olympics or not. In the NHL’s point of view, injuries and time off are the biggest factors in their players sitting the games out. In recent years, more and more players are getting injured while competing for their country. Of course I sympathize with the NHL owners who have their star players sidelined for months because of the Olympics, but in reality players can get hurt doing anything. So many players get hurt at home, in practice, walking to their car, are we going to prevent them from doing these things? With hockey being such a physical sport, players are bound to get injured at one point or another, it is no excuse to keep them out of games they want to play in.
And for Bettman, who feels two weeks is too long to suspend NHL activity, the league is giving teams week long byes, where they are out of action. Why not just extend the week long bye weeks and have everyone’s be at the same time, the Olympics. Two weeks isn’t a long time, cancel the bye weeks and the All-Star game weekend during Olympic years. I can pretty much guarantee that fans would rather watch the Olympics over the All-Star game, games that actually mean something are far more exciting.
“Quite frankly, I think to turn on the Olympics next year and watch hockey teams or the players representing their countries, if it’s not the best in the world, i don’t know. I just feel like we’re misrepresenting our sport on a pretty huge scale and a pretty huge level. I think the players do want to go.The NHL should be in the Olympics,” said Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathon Toews. I couldn’t agree more, I would much rather watch NHL players, the best players in the world, over watching some joe-shmoe college players. I want to keep watching the Sidney Crosby’s of the world make more magical Olympic moments.