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  1. #1

    Mixed messages from NHL on Olympics, global domination

    By Greg Wyshynski

    As tickets to the gold medal game in Vancouver were flying faster than Penguins to a penalty box in Game 5, it's clear that interest in seeing NHL talent in the Winter Olympics is high in the 2010 host city.

    The debate over NHL participation in the Games is a textured one; both arguments have virtue, although ultimately it's hard to dispute that shutting down the regular season hasn't produced any tangible results for the League at the gate.

    At least in North America; it's hard to assess the benefit for the NHL to have its stars on a global stage in front of billions of eyes. But it's clear that the League sees greener pastures on foreign soil, as the recent chatter about selling global television rights would indicate.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puc...urn=nhl,168525
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  2. #2
    (from a Canadian perspective) Add me to the list of fans who don't want the Olympics and NHL together.

    Let the world's best amateurs play for their medals, not Professional Hockey players.

    If you want to join the Canadian Olympic Hockey team in 2010, then you better be playing with them for the four years of training and tournaments that lead to the Olympics.

    I would love to interview the regular team Canada players who play on the team and get their point of view. But you'll also have to call me a hypocrite! Because I love watching the World's best, I just don't think that the NHL should stop everything for them. Maybe the Canadiens (Mtl) would win a few more games because of it!

  3. #3
    LOL Shane...pretty sure the Canadian Team players are told to shush about it all so to speak...and the Canadiens comment did make me laugh...

  4. #4
    Please, Please, Please. End the silly shut down in the middle of the seaon. Get out of the Olympics. Give it back to the amateurs.

  5. #5
    It is once every 4 years. The olympics are about the best players in the world at their given sport. Why should we have to see less than the best because some players are pros?? There are pros in other sports from other countries playing sports that North America does not dominate, and those arent having issues with the players playing.

    Besides during the olympics most folks are watching olympic games instead of league games anyways!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nashrules View Post
    It is once every 4 years. The olympics are about the best players in the world at their given sport. Why should we have to see less than the best because some players are pros?? There are pros in other sports from other countries playing sports that North America does not dominate, and those arent having issues with the players playing.

    Besides during the olympics most folks are watching olympic games instead of league games anyways!
    I always thought that the Olympics were the best of the best in amateur sport. I'll have to look up the criteria to be be eligible to play. I know the boys don't get paid to play there, but in a way they are still pros even though the league shuts down for the two weeks it's on.

  7. #7
    It's once every four years, yes. I still think once every 40 years would be too often to shut the league down, and go to the Olympics. The NHL should be in the business of putting the best product on the Ice, for NHL games, as it can...... AND in a reasonable amount of time. With the way the already bend the playoff schedules to meet what the TV networks want... are we going to get a SCF in late June next year? IMO this year's playoffs have already dragged on way too long. There is no reason they should still be playing past the middle of May.

    Just Becca's other pros are playing in the Olympics, that doesn't make it right. The NBA can get away with it, because the summer games are during their off season. Did you know MLB was approached to start sending their players too? You know what they said "Not a chance". When the IOC threatened to pull baseball as an Olympic sport, MLB told them to go ahead, it wasn't their problem. It got pulled. Good for them.

    And most people will start watching the Olympics instead of NHL games? Who?? Most years there is way too much of a time delay for live events to watch them anyway. I have a hard time believing that people who would normally watch an NHL game at 7:00 on a Saturday night, are going to turn it off in favor of Speed Skating, Downhill Skiing, or whatever.... when they already know the results.

    My problem is this. For the NHL fan, for the hockey fan, and especially for the NHL as a business.... what do we get out of it?

    A chance to see the best players in the world compete every 4 years? We already had that with the Canada (and then World) Cup. Players participated in that, instead of a lot of training camp. It made a lot of sense.

    We see the league shut down for two weeks, casual fans lose interest (for each of the 3 times they've gone, the NHL had a HUGE ratings drop after the Olympic break, compared to games right before).

    The best players in the world add an extra 6-10 games (I forget the exact number) to their own schedules, and have to deal with a lot of extra travel. Will next year in Vancouver be too bad? No. The following games in Russia will help wear out a lot of these guys.

    Then there was the big myth of more exposure for the league. It hasn't done a thing to help build more interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nashrules View Post
    It is once every 4 years. The olympics are about the best players in the world at their given sport. Why should we have to see less than the best because some players are pros?? There are pros in other sports from other countries playing sports that North America does not dominate, and those arent having issues with the players playing.

    Besides during the olympics most folks are watching olympic games instead of league games anyways!

  8. #8
    I think at one time that was the case. The rules got changed, because with pro athletes.... they could sell more tickets to the big team sports (basketball, hockey, etc) and get way better TV numbers.

    The Olympics will change their qualification rules on a whim, if that's what it takes to get pros, and therefor bigger TV numbers. Based on the rules that covered the hockey tournament... forever... by virtue of their Quarter final victory in 2002, Belarus should have earned an automatic birth into the 2006 Olympics. They didn't. Why??? Because the Czech Republic (finishing 7th) wouldn't have got theirs. The IOC just changed the rules to give the top seeds to the higher ranked team (in IIHF rankings) so they wouldn't have to worry about seeing the Czechs qualify for the tournament without their NHLers (like they made Slovakia do).

    Quote Originally Posted by sholi2000 View Post
    I always thought that the Olympics were the best of the best in amateur sport. I'll have to look up the criteria to be be eligible to play. I know the boys don't get paid to play there, but in a way they are still pros even though the league shuts down for the two weeks it's on.
    Last edited by 30ranfordfan; 06-09-2009 at 09:17 AM.

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