Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The impetus for this was probably traced to, oh, about 10 seconds after NHL star-studded Team Canada lost to Switzerland at the Turin Olympics
"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.

" '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.' "
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?

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)

1 comment:

Dennis Prouse said...

That's exactly what I was thinking -- just put a team together a la the Spengler Cup. In fact, I'm not even that fussy about seeing the NHL guys in Vancouver, truth be told. I love the whole underdog, Miracle on Ice thing, and I would enjoy seeing a Team Canada gold medal win more with those guys as opposed to the millionaires for whom the Olympics are just a pleasant diversion, as opposed to a lifelong dream.