The NHL has shot itself in the foot again

April 4, 2017, by

No professional sports league has a history of shooting itself in the foot like the NHL. The NHL has had three lockouts in roughly 20 years, costing them two seasons of hockey. They are the only team to lose an entire year to a work stoppage. And that’s just part of the terrible PR the NHL contends with.

Gary Bettman has been on record stating fans don’t care about player salary information. Yet Capgeek was wildly popular and gave way to General Fanager and Cap Friendly. These are three sites that without, we would have no way of knowing a player’s impact related to salary. In a hard-cap world, player salary information is a must have.

Then there was the complete disregard for the newer stats that have become mainstream. The league finally admitted to needing to give fans that information, then completely botched it on the NHL site. The stats section on NHL.com is an embarrassment to the league, since it has outdated (score close) metrics. But even that’s just part of it, since some of the information is flat out wrong.

But hey, this is a league that insists that the fans don’t want to see superstars promoted, since this is such a team game. No, we don’t want to see Henrik Lundqvist, who is a generational talent playing in New York who could potentially have the same charisma and nice-guy draw as Derek Jeter. But please, keep shoving Patrick Kane and his questionable character and morals down our throats. Heck, I’d prefer Sidney Crosby being plastered all over the place instead of Kane. But Kane is American, and you need an American boy!

But perhaps yesterday is the worst infraction of all. The NHL made the announcement that NHL players will not compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics. This is just a mind-numbingly stupid and short-sighted move by a league that never fails to screw up their own product.

The official statement on the NHL site leads with the dumbest reasoning I’ve ever heard:

“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…”

Oh, so you don’t want to disrupt the season for the Winter Olympics, but you’re ok with disrupting the season for the World Cup and the mandated bye week for every NHL club?

For a league that needs to grow it’s international appeal, skipping the Olympics –when all other major professional leagues, like the KHL, are not– is a move that seems more like a negotiating tactic and less like a move that betters the game. Bettman went further:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said in the past several months that the owners were against Olympic participation for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was the 17-day break in the schedule required in February, a time when the National Football League’s season has ended and Major League Baseball’s season has yet to begin.

So the chief reason is that the owners, through Bettman, don’t want to miss out on that critical February stretch when the NHL competes with the NBA for air time.

Sure, that would make sense if the NHL had a national TV deal on a station that you could find. NBCSN is channel 212 for me. NBC shows one game a week, sort of. There is no TV deal with ESPN. The logic Bettman spewed seems good on the surface, but any form of critical thinking applied deems it as flawed.

If the NHL wants to promote its product, perhaps they shouldn’t have signed an exclusive-rights deal with a network that doesn’t even prioritize it. Golf gets more air time than hockey on NBC.

But then the NHL shoves a poll in our faces, stating that 73% of Americans and 53% of Canadians don’t want players to go to the Olympics. When was this poll taken? I certainly did not know of it.

And then perhaps the ultimate slap in the face, the one that assumes fans are stupid, is the argument that players get fatigued and injured at the Olympics. So, I’m guessing they won’t get fatigued or injured in NHL games? Half of the players play three games, miss the elimination round, and go home. The other half play at most three additional games. Six games in 17 days is supposed to fatigue the players? Did I miss something here?

In the end, this all comes down to money, and don’t let any statement convince you otherwise. The IOC is not covering the NHL’s expenses of sending the players to the Olympics this year. And now all of a sudden the league can’t swing it? Oh please. Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.

The owners and its puppet have once again done a disservice to the league, its fans, and its players. For a league that is so focused on re-growing its fanbase –an issue caused by them– they seem hell bent on shooting themselves in the foot. They never get it right. And we, as fans, are always the ones that lose out.

"The NHL has shot itself in the foot again", 5 out of 5 based on 19 ratings.
Categories : Rants


  1. paulronty says:

    There can be no doubt that the game of hockey has regressed under the leadership of Gary Bettman. Here in Canada, he is reviled & detested & that is no exaggeration. I once sat down and listed 10 ways the game could be improved, and that was just the short list. Might make for an interesting thread actually. Eschewing the Olympics is all about money, like it usually is, and Bettman operates it like the crooked banker in your community. Profits trump all.

    • Jack says:

      It didn’t regress because of Bettman… Now he’s just being his normal jacka** self about this so that fans could now place a picture to fit their narrative about him to boo him a little harder. Truth is that hockey in the states isn’t that popular, it doesn’t connect with the minority’s over here. I was lucky enough to live and play in the Mecca of the hockey world in NY but once college came around, I was in the real world that nobody cares about. Hockey is a spectator sport, the biggest fans have never strapped them up, sorry but that isn’t Gary’s greedy a*$ problem. People aren’t drawn to a game that has a book of 100 pages of unwritten code and rules. Dudes in the dorms don’t want to watch this sport over the NBA finals and they obviously aren’t interested in Olympic hockey, the end.

  2. Bayman says:

    The league expected the players to cough up concessions. Wen the players called the league’s bluff, the league couldn’t admit they were bluffing, and is now making a bad situation worse. Shame on Bettman and the owners.

  3. SalMerc says:

    While I agree this is a very poor decision, lets just hope it is a loud positioning ploy to get public outcry against his position so someone (or more probably) some company (Nike or Bauer) comes up with the sponsorship to bring the NHL to the Olympics. I really do not want to believe the Bettman is that bad of a businessman. Could he really be that pisspoor?

  4. JS says:

    I agree that this is a mistake, but hope it is just an escalation in negotiation for future olympics; Korea to be sacrificed for China and beyond. It’s pretty clear that the players have an interest beyond what their union boss will admit (yet). But it does take two to tango and the IIHF and IOC really screwed this up to begin with. The owners pay Bettman and bear the ultimate responsibility. He is their employee and carries out their wishes. There’s plenty of blame to go around here.

    • paulronty says:

      The owners do whatever Bettman tells them to do.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Isn’t it the other way around?

      • sherrane says:

        Wrong. Every commissioner in every professional sport does what the owners want. Think about it. Every owner made millions building or running a business. Every owner is a successful man. Why would they hire someone like Gary Bettman to tell them how to play with their toys (pro sport team)?

  5. Chris A says:

    The games will be held in S. Korea, that means odd air times for games in N. America. A 12 hour time difference for those of us on the east coast. Isn’t it possible that the NHL looked at TV ratings for other international tournaments major sports held in S. Korea and decided it wasn’t worth it? I know I’m not going to be checking in on 4 AM Olympic hockey games.

    If these games were in N. America or even Europe, I think the NHL would go in a heartbeat, but S. Korea? There’s very little upside for the NHL, certainly not enough to shut down the league for two weeks, condense the schedule, and mess with the trade deadline.

    • Chris A says:

      Also, no one is certain what the tournament format is.

      What if the IIHF, throwing a bone to smaller federations, insists on 6 teams in each group and has 8 teams advance to the medal rounds? That would mean 5 group games followed by 3 elimination games in 17 days.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      When the games were in Sochi, they were aired here on delay, some even held until prime time. The same would be done for S Korea games. Even when they weren’t live they still drummed up significant interest

      At the end of the day, the NHL isn’t being compensated for their assets. Just a lame, “what’s in it for me” mentality. It really is a shame the NHL won’t let a 1 in every 4 year tournament happen.

      • sherrane says:

        Do you appreciate that the Sochi Olympics were the lowest rated in recent history? Team USA vs Team Canada drew a dismal 2.7 rating (USA vs Russia drew a 2.6). To put that in perspective, the NCAA Championship pre-game drew a 2.6 rating last night while the game drew a 5.6. Seriously, a top notch Olympic hockey event drew HALF the audience of an NCAA Championship Game.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          That gap will only grow bigger by not showing and growing the sport of hockey.

          Also, see RFiB’s point below.

          • sherrane says:

            You realize that I’m talking about the Olympic games, right. A lot of people who watch the games have no real interest in hockey. Also, those Olympics averaged a 5.5 rating in the US, yet the hockey games drew half that.

            Growing the game internationally? WTF are you talking about? Hockey is huge in Russia and northern Europe. The top five hockey countries in the world are US, Canada, Russia, Sweden, and Finland. The US replaced Czechoslovakia after that country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

            The ONLY negative thing that may happen is that this may keep top Russian talent in the KHL instead of them coming to the NHL. Other than that, pardon my baseball analogy when I say that Bettman and the NHL hit a walk-off grand slam.

            • Hatrick Swayze says:

              Not sure where the attitude is coming from. Really no need for it. You pointed out that the game is huge in cold weather countries where it already has a strong foothold. There are plenty of places around the world to establish a fan base and youth leagues which will eventually lead to additional talent coming into the NHL. NHL participation in the Olympic games will only further promote expansion into non traditional markets (aka Asia).

              The IIHF alreayd said they would cover travel and insurance costs…. the NHL wouldn’t have to pay for this aside from forgoing some in season revenues. FWIW, I think the NHL should be compensated. I’m not saying they’re the only ones to blame. But they do share in the blame.

              • paulronty says:

                forgoing some in season revenues. —And there lies the crux of the problem!

              • Hatrick Swayze says:

                Of course it is. Nhl wants a cut of the pie and won’t release it’s assets without compensation. That’s all this is about

        • Jack says:

          Everybody knew team USA was a joke then, our backups wouldn’t have made extra’s for team Canada’s B team.

          Now it feels like USA might have a shot for a miracle run like in 2010 so this is kind of a bummer.

          • sherrane says:

            It wouldn’t take a “miracle run” for Team USA to win gold in any tournament at this point. In the last 8 years at the World Juniors (international under 20 tournament), Team USA has won the Gold three times, which is equal to the amount won by Canada, Russia, and Sweden combined:

            USA 3
            Finland 2
            Canada 1
            Russia 1
            Sweden 1

            The US only trails Russia in the number of medals won over the past 8 years and is tied with Canada with 5. If we put the medal into a point system (3 for gold, 2 for silver, 1 for bronze), the US trails only Russia over this time.

            Russia 13 (1-3-4)
            USA 11 (3-0-2)
            Canada 10 (1-3-1)
            Sweden 8 (1-2-1)
            Finland 6 (2-0-0)
            Slovakia 1 (0-0-1)

            To demonstrate how USA hockey has improved, consider that the US has won 10 medals since the tournament began in 1977 and half those medals have been won in the last 8 years. But even then, only Canada and Russia (if you include the medal won by the Soviet Union [8] and Commonwealth of Independent States [1] while Russia has won 4) have won more gold medals than US, which is tied for Finland. Three of the four gold medals won by Team USA have come in the last eight years.

            No doubt that Russia is going to be the favorite in the next Olympics because the KHL will likely allow their players to play. But the US should still medal because our youth hockey has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade. In fact, people may be more enthusiastic with the team’s success because they know the best American players are not playing.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      The Olympics are an international event and should not be looked at through the prism of just North American viewers.

      If the NHL is serious about growing the game internationally, skipping the Olympics is the exact opposite tactic to take.

      It’s just another short-sighted decision made by a league famous for making many.

      • Chris A says:

        I’m going to be a bit cynical here. The NHL is in the business of growing the NHL, not hockey around the world. Yes, you can make the argument that making the sport stronger around the world, eventually, makes the NHL stronger by widening the potential talent pool. How much bigger does that make the pool and how long does it take to realize returns? Remember, it’s taken almost 20 years for teams to spend high draft picks on players that were developed in the Sun Belt. It could take at least twice as long for Asia to start semi-regularly producing NHL caliber prospects. Is it worth dragging all your stars to S. Korea for a mid-season tournament?

        The IIHF is responsible for growing the sport in underdeveloped hockey nations. Let them step up their international tournaments and maybe the NHL will feel it’s worth sending the world’s best to put on a show.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          Absolutely 100% is worth it. The amount of skill which could come into the sport (and top league the sport has) is immense.
          The Phoenix / Auston Matthews dynamic comes to mind. Obviously there will be significant lag time, but there isn’t really a cost. Sure the owners aren’t getting a cut of the money, but they also aren’t paying any direct dollars to send the best players in the world, other than arguably forgoing some in season revenues. IIHF already came out and said they would cover all transportation and player insurance costs. The NHL just wants a check from it.

          To me it is just selfish and short sighted…aka business and politics.

          • Chris A says:

            I agree on the selfish part, but I don’t mind being selfish here. I don’t want the league to go dark for most of Feb. I don’t want the trade deadline to be pushed back to mid-March.

            I’m all for a World Cup every 4 years, let the NHL control the venue, the rules, the number of teams participating.

            If my selfishness means there won’t be big time hockey in Asia, I can live with that.

            • SalMerc says:

              We always blame the league and management, but the players seem never to own up to being responsible to their own teams and livelihood. When Hank gets hurt, does he give back his $8M to the NYR? I think not. Let all the NHL players sign a waiver releasing their NHL teams from any liability from paying them if they get injured. See how many go then.

              • Reenavipul says:

                You do know that they have insurance coverage paid for by IIHF & IOC, right? Olympics and Wolrlds.

        • Reenavipul says:

          Already had a Chinese born & trained player drafted. Of course it’s the Islanders, but it doesn’t take that long.

  6. Sally says:

    This definitely short sited. Hockey in the Olympics brings new fans every four years. Ovi isn’t the only player that is going to want to play for his country. The NHL is going to penalize the Capitals for Ovi going to the Olympics? That certainly will play well with the fans. What happens if Hank wants to play for Sweden?

  7. Steve says:

    Don’t see the reason why owners should risk there star players and have nothing come back to them. If the Islanders owner wants to risk John Taveres getting hurt and ruining his season, how can you not expect something in return?

    In essence the only ones taking a risk are the owners and they shouldn’t get something for it?

    If it is so important to the players advise them if they go and get hurt they forfeit any salary if they miss time and if it is career ending the contract is not guaranteed. lets see how quick they go.

    • Chris A says:

      Isles might not be the best example, after all, they happily risk their players’ health 41 nights a year by playing on sub par ice.

      • Steve says:

        Fair point, but I think you get the idea. And if being Sarcastic..i like it…lol.

        Overall though I see it like the World Cup in soccer has that really grown the game? The fringe fan will watch the big Olympic games and when done they go back to watching the sports the love. I have watched exactly no soccer games since the world cup and that is the majority of fringe fans, not the minority.

  8. Douglas Peters says:

    $$$ and limited TV and network coverage are the real reason for the NHL’S stance with the Olympics. Bad decision that may backfire in the owner’s faces.

  9. sherrane says:

    I’ll be proudly in the minority by saying this was a great decision. I’m happy the league isn’t going to the Olympics. But then again, I haven’t watched the Olympics since professionals played in the games.

    TV? You means games being televised on delay? Few people watch that except the diehards. Even then, you’ll probably know the outcome before you see the puck drop. South Korea is 14 hours ahead of NY, so an 8:00 PM start will be a 6:00 AM live broadcast. Good luck avoiding the results all day.

    I have no desire to see the Rangers season fall apart because of an injury suffered by a top player in a meaningless Olympic game when the Rangers are gearing up for a run.

    This was the best news I’ve heard coming out of the league office in a long, long time. Keep up the good work!

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      I just look at this as selfish. Just like the team comes before the player, the sport comes before the league. You’re able to enjoy watching the best league on earth because of the overwhelming influx of imported talent.

      What if all the players from other countries said- ok no more playing in the NHL. We’re going to stay in Europe.

      It’s a global community which should be promoted.

      • Egelstein says:

        I didn’t see this comment before I posted mine below, but I’m in the same boat more or less sherrane.

        To note, a global community in any sport can definitely be promoted without needing pros from North American leagues participating in the Olympics. I certainly understand it is easier to promote with superstar faces/names…but to me, sports promotion is much more grass roots than who is playing in the Olympics. It starts at home and with widespread access to youth leagues.

        I frankly find soccer pretty boring to watch on TV generally speaking, yet I go bonkers for big international games and sit there watching them on the edge of my seat. This is simply because I played soccer growing up. I don’t really care who is playing for team USA, I just want to see them beat their international peers.

        • Jack says:

          It’s funny but womens soccer is the best imo gor the World Cup and Olympic tournaments. They should add Lacrosse and let the Natives represent themselves, I find both sports to be on the edge type stuff if you’re cheering for a particular side.

      • Chris A says:

        If European leagues start paying more than the NHL, I guarantee that you will see the best players in the world decide to ply their trade in Europe.

        • Reenavipul says:

          And if a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump its butt on the ground.

          In all of Europe, there’s maybe 10 NHL style/sized rinks. A few others max out at 14k, the rest are at 10k or under.

          Cologne, Paris(who has a 3rd division team playing under the rink in a 500 standing room practice rink) the O2 in London & Dublin, Bern, Hamburg(where the team went bust) Hannover(where the team went bust) plus a few Russian barns

      • sherrane says:

        I look at your comment as selfish, so I guess it is just a matter of perspective. The US will still be represented by some pretty good hockey players. I’m all for giving kids an opportunity to represent their country. 30 years ago we didn’t send NHL players to the Olympics. Was that disrespecting the sport?

        I watch the World Juniors every year. I didn’t pout because the NHL wouldn’t let Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Austin Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho, etc play in the tournament. Or is this somehow different? It isn’t, but some of you will suggest it is because “it is only once every 4 years”, “there isn’t an age limit”, or some other excuse that doesn’t equate to an actual difference.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          Yes, I’m selfish b/c I want to hoard players here and forbid them from a competition which may lead to the “Rangers season fall(ing) apart because of an injury suffered by a top player in a meaningless Olympic game”.

    • Walt says:

      Agree totally………….If the players are willing to sign waivers for any games not played due to injury, or if the injury is severe enough to have the player shelved for an extended period of time, well why should management have to cough up the money that would be due to the players? If Ovi wants to go, let him go, but he should be fined a huge amount of money, and maybe suspended for breaking the NHL rule of non-participation………..Folks this is a business, and there is a lot tied up with these players in the way of contracts, contract insurance, retirement, and health insurance. If the players are that cavalier about it, then they should put up some risk of their own, not just the owners!!!!!!!!!!

      • Egelstein says:

        Yup. NHL players are employees. Like most any other workplace, their terms of employment are dictated by ownership and management. I think some folks lose sight of that. If your boss tells you that you can’t take a month-long break from your job to go do another job – and, rightfully so – well, then you can’t.

        • Bloomer says:

          The hockey fans are the losers here. They don’t get an opportunity to watch the best players ..playing the greatest game on the biggest world stage.
          As far as the business analogy goes ..Bettman has done a poor job growing the game and is losing his customers one fan at a time. Puck you Bettman

    • paulronty says:

      The overlooked point is that the Olympics is supposed to be for amateurs, not professional athletes as you mentioned.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Says who and since when? Phelps isn’t an amatuer. Neither is Bolt. Neither is Rinaldo, Rooney, etc ,etc.

  10. Egelstein says:

    I’m not disagreeing with any of the points about the NHL shooting itself in the foot when I say this, but…I’m totally okay with NHL players not going to the Olympics or the World Cup. Selfishly, the NHL is what I like to watch. I don’t like the injury risk to Rangers players for those who do regularly compete in international competition, and don’t like the season being broken up or affected by the bye week or any other such factors.

    It isn’t just NHL, either – in any sport, I’d prefer players from my pro team do not participate in international competition. It’s rare to have a catastrophic potentially career-altering injury, but it happens. For a recent example I recall, Paul George of the NBA snapping his leg in an Olympics *practice* a few years back. He’s fine now but he easily could not have been. There’s also just general wear and tear/mileage, of course. No thanks; I prefer my teams devote every ounce of their performance and health to winning their North American professional titles.

    Honestly, I’ll still watch the same Olympic hockey games I would have with pros involved, and will still root for USA just the same. I personally get no added thrill from rooting for Ryan McDonagh in a jersey other than a Rangers jersey every few years. I think I’m more intrigued knowing it will be amateurs, actually. I’ll actually get to see a lot of these names I’ve heard but never really had TV access to outside of the Frozen Four tourney.

    • paulronty says:

      I’d love to see the Olympics live up to the Olympic ideal & be a tournament for amateur players. How about a tournament like the WJC, the best juniors from each country.

      • Egelstein says:

        I certainly wouldn’t mind it. I really suspect it doesn’t matter much to growing the game if pros are allowed to play in the Olympics or not – but that would be incredibly hard to try and quantify, so I say that fully disclaiming that it is my opinion and nothing more. What I do know is that I grew up a baseball fanatic first and foremost, and I was invested in the success of the USA amateurs in 1992 when I was 10 just as much as I would have been if they were pro. I’m glad baseball will be back for 2020.

  11. 43 says:

    Really not a big deal.

  12. DAVID k says:

    Just send college players to represent U.S. this should not be pros players in Olympic’s it should return to college prospects under the lights. I for one was never in favor of disrupting the season and having players injured for the Olympic competition. That is what brings in new fan base not sending NHL players.

  13. roadrider says:

    I agree that the NHL is a Mickey Mouse operation headed by a dimwit commissioner (Gary Butt-Head) who is just a toady for the owners.

    That said, I don’t give a hair on the butt of a midget flea about the Olympics. If they go fine, if they don’t, fine. I won’t watch much anyway especially if the games are at odd hours or when I’m at work.

    • roadrider says:

      Oh, and the Olympics themselves are a sewer of hypocrisy, corruption, taxpayer rip-offs for massive white-elephant facilities and a curse on the communities where they are held, especially for the have-nots. That’s why I’ve mostly tuned them out for several decades now.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Now, THAT kind of logic I can get on board with. Thanks for the perspective.

      • paulronty says:

        Ya, I’m getting there too. I hardly watched any of the Rio Olympics & I used to watch them slavishly. Even my wife commented on my lack of enthusiasm. All I could say was I’m tired of corruption & cheating.

  14. Reenavipul says:

    Late games in Asia can be midday games in Europe, so you grow both markets.

    Weekend Noon start games on the East coast can be in European prime time. With halfway decent scheduling, you could have NHL hockey games running from 5pm-4am in Europe.

    NHL has no idea how to make a circle bigger.

    • Steve says:

      Question they have gone to the Olympics how many times in a row now.

      Has the game grown so much from all that time and TV ratings blowing up for the playoffs and Stanley cup, compared the years they didn’t go.

      I haven’t looked but I assume the answer is no. The Olympics spikes the majority of fringe fans during the Olympics and that is it.

      Similar to the “love” for soccer by USA fans when the World Cup teams do well. We love it for a couple weeks and don’t stick around when it is the NYFC vs Red Bulls as there is no USA pride on the line and not the best of the best playing.

      The Olympics have not grown the game.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Actually they do get a bump for ratings in Olympic years. Gets the casual sports fan interested, sets up the home stretch and the playoffs.

        • Jack says:

          Eh for someone who played the game since 7 years old in the states I would say the Olympics don’t matter for hockey casuals. It’ll never grow, heck I think Lacrosse in general will be in the same sentence as the NHL soon enough or in about 3-4 years. It’s a spectator’s sport, some of the biggest fans in USA have never played.

          • Reenavipul says:

            Note I didn’t write Hockey casual, but sports casual.

            LAX has been the sport of the future longer than soccer. It’s a participatory social network, not a spectator sport.

            • Jack says:

              Hocley is a spectator sport… Yeah Lacrosse was suppose to take off years ago but somehow it got lost that you have to be white and at a prep school in order to Lax. Colleges all over the states will have just as many NCAA hockey teams if they don’t have that already. “Sport casual” and hockey casuals are the same for me, again hockey is a spectator sport in the states for the most part. Those local NYC Ranger fans never grew up with the hockey life of playing the game. They may be the biggest hockey fans in the world but still spectator’s for the most part.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        You can’t conclude that the Olympics have not grown the game that simply. It takes a lot more looking into than what you have put forth.

        • Egelstein says:

          I’m not sure it is even quantifiable in any regard. Seems as though we’d need a parallel universe that never had no Olympics but was exactly the same otherwise as a constant to compare to!

  15. Jack says:

    Dang I wanted to see Stepan’s replacement on the backup/4th line of either Hayes or Kreider for team USA lol.

  16. Reenavipul says:

    When talking about growing the game, take note of how many citizens you would have to have a registered U20 player in their respective country.

    France 6260
    Germany 5125
    Slovenia 2463
    Russia 1,623
    Switzerland 1246
    USA 1,037
    Slovakia 644
    Switzerland 558
    Czechia: 401
    Sweden 236
    Finland 141
    Canada 77

    UK? 13656
    S. Korea? 23399
    China? 2,337,581

  17. Reenavipul says:

    Windsor eliminated, does Day go to Hartford of New York?

  18. tempogain says:

    The phrase “killing the goose that laid the golden egg” comes to mind. I can understand why the league doesn’t want to do it. I think if they persist in this hardline stand it’ll backfire however. I’d be more nuanced. “We’re playing. Go if you feel you have to play for your country, you’ll get docked and the game will go on.” That would put pressure on the players to stay in a far more subtle way, and could gradually move things over to the preferrable world cup format. Threatening the participation of top international players in the league with an inflexible attitude is the wrong decision I think.

  19. rglv says:

    I have heard quite a few arguments against interrupting a season for participation in Olympic games once in four years, but it is Ok to do it for the World Cup once in four years. Lets just reverse the rolls and imagine that the major hockey powers do not want to interrupt their season and would not let their players participate in the World Cup? Would it still draw as much interest without these teams?

  20. Peter says:

    In my humble opinion it is idiotic for the NHL to forgo the marketing opportunity of Olympic hockey every four years. The media exposure of the NHL is so minimal that any additional exposure is worth it. They should send their best players to the Olympics every four years and let them put in a show. It is a great game, but it is hidden.

  21. Leetchie Nut says:

    There absolutely IS a difference bw a mid Feb break and a preseason WC one. One interrupts the home stretch and one happens in the meaningless preseason. Less of a difference for the stupid bye weeks but those are stupid unto themselves with or without the Olympics.

    And to list all the other irrelevant non-Olympic examples that exist or existed whether the players compete in 2018 or not means nothing. Fundamentally, it comes down to the majority of the owners are agst going. Thats it. It’s got nothing to do with whether Corsi numbers are published. The author is clearly trying to build a “case” showing how ignorant and shortsighted the league has been under Bettman’s watch. Duh! We already knew that. And even if the pros did go to the Olympics after all, it doesn’t change the 3 lockouts, the butchered TV deal, the nondisclosure of stats or salaries, etc.

    All due respect, this article could’ve been written in 2 sentences: “Most of the owners don’t wanna go. So sayeth the truth.” End of story. And I for one agree with them….at least on this decision.