"While the door could be opening to more NHL action in Europe, Bettman said it might stop players competing in the 2014 Sochi Games given the stress of a mid-season interruption and diminishing impact of a Games far from North America.Since when does Gary Bettman worry about the strain on the fans. (Some of his member teams sure don't betray much concern about the strain on the fans' wallets.) That aside, it does feel like NHLers in the Olympics has run its course. The Olympic platform isn't needed to determine the world's reigning superpower in soccer, or in baseball, so why does hockey need to do it too?
" 'It is a strain. It is a strain on the players, on the schedule and on our fans here.' Bettman said. " 'It has an impact on the momentum of the season and the benefits we get tend to be greater when the Olympics are in North America than when they're in distant time zones.' "
Frankly, if it was done Spengler Cup-style, with Team Canada consisting of a group of European-based pros and perhaps a few AHLers, a lot of people would root for the underdogs.
More European games being considered, says Bettman (Reuters)