2018 Winter Olympics: No NHL Bad For Games and Hockey, But Not All Bad
The National Hockey League will not halt its season for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
In an obvious reaction, the backlash against the NHL is strong. From players to fans to media types, Gary Bettman is getting his keister handed to him for the league’s decision to skip the games.
The big losers? The 2018 Winter Olympics and the fans who want to see the top players in the world. Not to mention, NBC is a mega loser when it comes to television ratings. Meanwhile, the NHL comes out ahead, at least in terms of setting up their schedule. This spares them having to stop the season for several weeks for a contest in which many NHLers won’t appear. Think of it as an All-Star Break on steroids.
While this may be harmful to the game of hockey as a whole, the NHL sitting out the Winter games isn’t as bad as it gets.
2018 Winter Olympics: Reaction to the NHL
A smattering of tweets about the NHL sitting this Olympiad out, and everyone’s favorite commissioner, Gary Bettman.
2018 Winter Olympics: Looking On The Bright Side
The National Hockey League didn’t let its players compete in the Olympics until 1998. We went a long, long time without National Hockey League stars in these games. It was because of the halt to the season that the NHL waited a decade or so before caving in to the Olympics. Prior to that time, however, we saw smaller names, but a lot of heart.
The best example of this was from 1980. One of hockey’s greatest and most memorable moments, the “Miracle on Ice,” didn’t feature NHL players. Rather, Team USA was full of amateurs like Mike Eruzione, who never played a shift in the NHL. Sure, Team USSR was stacked, but the point is that amateur hockey and entertaining hockey do sometimes meet. Team USA, Team Canada, and the others in 2018 will fill out their rosters, and the games will still be fun with players that will thrive on the biggest stage. They’re not all going to be names you’ll recognize, but you might be pleasantly surprised.
That is now the best we can do given that the biggest names in the sport won’t be present without skipping out on the NHL.