First– I agree with everything Gary Bettman says about the Olympics and despite the possible money that could come from any kind of marketing of the NHL in China– it may not be worth it.
….thanks for reading….
Okay, there’s more to it, but needed to get that opinion out there.
Bettman, who said that he’s not sure that the NHL will go to the 2022 Games because it’s disrupting to the league, was at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference when he took this stand/had this take. And in all honesty– why would the NHL want to go back if the cost is wholly on the shoulders of the league for things they can’t market after the fact– like the Golden Goal by Sidney Crosby in Vancouver.
More over, why would the IIHF want the NHL to be there when you see these Games, see who’s had a shocking run at it, and see the potential growth across the world from non-NHL players who are taking part of this and giving hope to their nations?? We know why the IIHF wants the NHL to be there, the same as the IOC– money. All the money. But honestly, while this hockey hasn’t been up to snuff like the last 20 years has been since the NHL took over the Olympics– it’s the way that it should be for the time being.
If we’re not going to play these as the World Juniors every four years, why not make the Olympics as NHL-free as possible?? You can debate that the best players in the world should be at the biggest tournament in the world– but there’s many people who skip out on the yearly World Championships after the season because they’re worn out or because they’re still playing in the NHL. They don’t seem to be too concerned with the WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS when they’re still in the playoffs…but whatever.
Not only that, but you don’t think more teams will stress the idea of a National team playing the entire season leading up to the Olympics like they did in the old days?? Canada was big on that, same with Russia, the US had their team going around– it was a good thing for these guys to play in exhibitions around their countries and partake in pre-Olympic tournaments to tune up. Hell, take the lead from the Women’s teams who take off a year from the pros to train with their teammates in preparation.
Hockey fans have been pampered with the best players in the world playing in the Olympics and God love them for actually being this passionate over it. But you know what, maybe it’s time for a change to see how the people adapt to life without the NHLers there. If you not want to watch the NHL in protest and watch only Olympic hockey– you’re right to do so, but why not both?? Why does hockey have to be exclusive to one platform and not all the platforms?? It makes no sense to me, but not a lot makes sense to me anymore.
Good on the NHL for not going, good for the Nations to do without the NHLers and create more stories and narratives, and good on fans for watching this hockey that is out of the ordinary of the caliber they’re used to at the Olympics for the past two decades.
Maybe it’s time to get used to that, as well.