After weeks and months of speculation and debates, Gary Bettman has officially announced that the NHL will not be taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The controversial announcement comes after plenty of debate regarding the safety of NHL players as well as the money aspect of having to take off from two weeks of NHL games.
The NHL owners may be happy but the players are less than thrilled. Players like Alex Ovechkin and Gabriel Landeskog have expressed their plans to go and compete in the Olympics regardless of the owner’s stands.
Other players have talked to media outlets about their thoughts on how this decision effects the sport and their countries.
Some have even pointed out the link to the “Miracle on Ice.” For teams like the United States and Canada, rosters are almost fully made up of NHL stars, taking these stars out of the equation does what to the landscape of the team? We will most likely be sending college and amateur kids to compete for the honor of our country, that would be fine if it was a competition for young kids. But it isn’t. Our young players will be playing against professionals from other nations, including Russia who will most likely have a team consisted of mostly KHL players. How can we compete?
Hopefully for the sake of the sport and the fans, the NHL think this matter out some more and come to a different decision.