Olympics Vs NHL

Who do players owe it to? Should they be forced into representing their country at the upcoming Olympics? Or should they have the choice of declining on playing at the Olympics.

If you look back to the last Olympics, you will remember Mario played through injuries and helped the Canadian team win. After the Olympics, he was of no use to his club team the Penguins. I know the Pens were not a top team than but is this right to risk injury for the Olympic team. He basically put everything into winning the Olympics and had nothing left to give to the Pens. I know he is an owner on that team but still is this right?

This year we have other players in the same scenario. Scott Niedermayer is in this position. If he plays, he may risk being injured and missing the rest of the season. The Ducks are close to a playoff spot, but without him they are screwed. Bryan McCabe is kind of in this situation too. He goes over there and may re-aggravate his groin. Toronto is not going to be happy with that. They definitely don’t make playoffs with him out injured.

If you look at players from other countries, it looks like they are going to take a pass so they can be ready to help their NHL teams make a playoff run. Naslund and Kipper to name a few. I know they are in countries where hockey is not as important as it is in Canada but should the Canadian players follow their lead? I don’t think Canadian players ever will because it is such a privilege to play for Canada. Not to mention the media would also chew these guys out if they did not play after being selected.

I know injuries are a part of the game and it is a risk of playing. But if you already have known injuries, why go over there and risk your season?

Personally, I think the players should be committed to their NHL teams first because they are being paid millions of dollars to be able to perform and contribute. But being from Canada, I do want selected players to be at the Olympics representing us.

However, I still do not want McCabe there; I wish he would take a pass.