Since the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, the NHL has sent its best players to participate in the Games. It has made the Olympics better and by far it has helped the NHL grow.
Sochi will be the fifth Olympics that NHLers have participated in. However, with the 2018 Winter Olympics set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the NHL has been reluctant to commit to sending its players.
Now, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has opened up on when the NHL might announce whether or not they will go to South Korea.
“I do not anticipate it will take that long and we will have a broader discussion with the players’ association on international competition and what we are doing internationally… That discussion is underway so I would anticipate a quick resolution in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months.”
He said that there were “a lot of negatives” to sending players to the Olympics. I don’t see many. Sure, the NHL might not be making any money from it but the game is definitely growing because of NHL particpation in the Olympics. Answer me this Mr. Daly, how does a KHL-dominated Russian team always winning the gold medal repeatedly grow the game in America? I’ll give you the answer, it doesn’t.
IIHF president Rene Fasel desperately wants the NHL in Sochi and had this to say about it in a phone interview with the Associated Press.
“I’m going to work hard and do the best I can to get the NHL and NHL players in Pyeongchang… “I will do everything I can — seven days a week — until a decision is made.
The NHL should continue to send it’s players to the Olympics. It’s the best way to grow the game internationally and that can only be good for the sport and the NHL.