For months now, the NHL and NHLPA have been using Olympic participation as a bargaining chip for the new CBA. Whether or not the players can go play on the World’s grandest stage, whether or not the players will take a lousy deal, whether or not the league blah blah blah.
Since 1998 the NHL has been a major part of the Olympic games, and the best-on-best tournament has given Canada a major audience, and allowed the United States to look bad. Man, I like that.
So it’s stupid for the NHL to go to the Olympics, and it’s stupid for you to care, here are 5 reasons why:
1. There’s already too much hockey
Ok, so I’ve outed myself as ‘not a real fan,’ that’s cool bitch, I don’t care. There is so much damn hockey, especially if you’re a Canadian, already on TV that one more tournament is really not that exciting. It’s the same complaint I have with the NHL’s reincarnation of the World Cup. There is enough hockey.
I don’t need to see Canada beat up on the USA every 6 months. Though again, that’s nice.
You already have a World Junior Championship, Ivan Hlinka, a stupid All-Star game, CHL, NCAA, AHL, ECHL, IIHF World Championship and…
2. an 82 game season and Stanley Cup playoffs is enough of the same players
If the NHL doesn’t go to the Olympics, let’s not forget that the Olympics will still happen. The only difference is that we will be introduced to a whole new swath of talented players. I watch Sidney Crosby play 82 games (ok, maybe 60) every year, plus another 20 or so in the playoffs. I don’t need to see him wheel snipe and celly for another 3 weeks. It’s enough, I get it, he’s great.
Think about it, we wouldn’t have a Miracle on Ice, or know the name Mike Eruzione if the NHL had attended the Olympics before 1998. We might not have the fondness for Herb Brooks, or more importantly, Kurt Russell PLAYING Herb Brooks in a movie. This is a memory for USA hockey fans that is directly in spite of the NHL attending the Olympics.
The Olympics is not meant to be a best-on-best tournament specifically, it is meant to be a celebration of amateur sports, besides…
3. The NHL is already a best-on-best league
Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Jaromir Jagr, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, they all have
3 things in common. They are the best players in the world, they all play in the NHL and…
Anyone thinking that the NHL thinks of itself as anything less than the premiere hockey league in the world is a silly bitch. And guess what, it IS. Save for a few players that have defected, the NHL is home to the best players in the world. Even guys plugging away on the fourth line, or guys that are stuck in the AHL get big roles when they go overseas.
4. The best players in the world play on different teams already!
Except for a few scenarios, every night in the NHL could be looked at as a best-on-best situation. Chicago playing the Pens, well that’s Crosby, Malkin, Letang vs Kane, Toews, Keith, Hossa. LA Kings vs San Jose, well there you have Kopitar, Quick, Carter and Doughty vs Thornton, Marleau, Burns, etc. Shit, even the worst teams in the league have it going on.
Take the Leafs vs Colorado, or NO, better yet, the old Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado, oh yeah, what a shit show that is…
Wait a minute, the ‘Yotes have Ekman-Larsson, Mike Smith and the Avs have Duchene, Landeskog, MacKinnon, even Erik Johnson gets his name thrown around for Team USA. Man, USA hockey sucks.
It’s just stupid, for 82 games times however many fuckin’ teams are in the NHL now, we get the best players in the world playing the other best players in the world. It’s enough already, you know the saying…
5. A change is as good as a rest
What would be so terrible about seeing players that aren’t in the NHL, playing in an international tournament in front of the whole world? Would it be so wrong to showcase the talents that each country produces that DON’T play under Gary fuckin’ Bettman.
Is it possible that fans of the NHL are reasonable enough that they could go 3 weeks without seeing Sidney Crosby or Ryan Suter playing hockey?
Hockey is so stupid.