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.

23 Responses to Olympics Vs NHL

  1. triple_deke says:

    hahh… I was actually about to try and get a poll together like this.

    It’s controversial… can you imagine how lame olympic hockey would be without NHL players? Actually, you don’t have to go very far back for an example…

    But, as an example, the senators organization would be undermined if Hasek were to go and play and get another groin injury while rolling around in the crease.

  2. HalGillTheNew99 says:

    I actually feel that it should be amatuers in the Olympics. Sometimes its better to watch no names, because their egos haven’t inflated to the size of zambonis.

    Also they probably won’t trash hotel rooms if they don’t place ie Brett Hull and Jeremy Roenick

  3. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    i think it should be amateur players just because to be honest i had so much fun watching them at the Juniors and you watch the nhlers almost all year long.

    btw i also think mccabe shouldnt go.

  4. nonhl2005 says:

    We all know that the amateurism went out the window back in the 70’s. The Olympics is not amateurism anymore and that’s sad. I think that is what needs to happen, not an NHL or NBA issue but the IOC needs to get back to the old way of doing the Olympics, anyone getting paid in any form for the field they wish to compete in is excluded from selection. I think that is one of the reasons the Olympics are not as big now as they were world wide back in the 60’s and to into the 70’s. Given the TV coverage now as opposed to then the Olympics should be all that, now only the host city seems to really get into it. Did you know back in the day wars would stop so the Olympics could play out. They need that out of no where to win gold story, think about the 80 US team in this day and age. Look at the Iraq soccer team last summer Olympics, hell I even rooted for them. With the prima donna’s of the pros involved the Olympics have turned into just another sporting event and not a humanitarian event which is what they should be.

  5. OldGoalie says:

    Yeah. Without professional players, you had the Miracle on Ice. With them you have…um…well, I’m sure some of the stuff that’s happened was memorable to someone. Somewhere.

    I realize that’s oversimplifying, but I just don’t enjoy watching what amounts to an all star game or two a night for 10 days as much as I enjoyed watching younger players have a chance to show what they could do with talented teammates on a global stage.

  6. thatleafsguy says:

    NHL players should not be playing in the Olympics in the first place…..Olympics are for amateur sport, last time I checked NHL’ers are all pros getting paid big bucks to play hockey.

  7. Gretzkin says:

    It was Bill Guerin who trashed the Hotel room.

    Hull and Roenick apologized and paid the bill, trying to keep it anonymous.

  8. Gretzkin says:

    A couple of things.

    It’s a great debate, and since the Olympics is meant to be amatuer, they shouldn’t really be there, BUT I LOVE IT.

    Injuries shouldn’t be brought to the Olympics, as players owe that to their teams. I agree.

    But in Mario’s case. The Pens were going nowhere, had no chance at a playoff spot, and he hardly played anyways.

    One last kick at the can for Mario wasn’t such a bad thing…

    And you’ve got it backwards:

    “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?”

    Competing on the International stage is and has always been more important to players from the “other” Countries you didn’t mention.

    North America has always had the Stanley Cup, and that is the most important thing to North Americans.

    The Europeans grew up dreaming of International success with their countries, as the new wave of Europeans in the NHL is quite new. The Stanley Cup may be becoming more and more important to them, but they didn’t grow up obsessing about it, like North Americans do.

    McCabe is a hack, anyways. I hope he doesn’t represent Canada. He can’t play on that ice at all. Anyone remember his stint on HV71 Jonkoping?

    1 goal and 30 PIM in 10 games. Not to mention he was about minus 1000.

    They made a fool of him, and he came back to Canada with his tail between his legs.

    That would increase Canada’s chances of NOT winning Gold by exactly 16.67%.

    Please bring somebody else…

  9. wheresthesoda says:

    If the player doesnt want to go, then whatever.

    I think its wierd though for players to turn down the olympics, cause its honor to represent your country

  10. nova_scotia123 says:

    I agree 1000% about McCabe.

    I also agree that times are changing now. And NHL teams are becoming more important than winnning an international tournament. This may be since Canada is always kicking ass now and there is a better chance at winning a cup with Canadian guys on their teams.

    Lets cross our fingers that McCabe’s groing drops on the ice soon and has to be replaced. I don’t like to disagee with Gretzky’s picks but this is one I don’t like.

  11. shuffleonin says:

    I heard it was Chris Chelios

  12. Mimo says:

    Why would a player be forced to play? Are any of the other atheletes forced to compete for their country?

  13. steviewonder says:

    It is not an amateur event anymore. Most of the athletes there are pros in the sport they are competing in. They just don’t make as much money so you don’t hear about them as much.

  14. Foppa12 says:

    I think it is important for the NHLers to participate in the Olympics. I compare it to world football. Those players are honored to represent their country in such tournaments. Imagine the World Cup with ametures. There are several leagues that are in session during that tournament as well.

    The NHLers should be honored to be selected for the Olympics. Most indeed are honored.

    It is very important to note here the Olympics are a tournament watched world wide. It is also watched in North America by people who are not normally hockey fans. Because of that it is even more important to showcase the best players hockey has. Most of the best hockey players happen to be NHLers. So they should be selected. Those players do still have the option to turn down selections (2002 Patrick Roy). You’ll notice few do turn them down. They want this honor.

    Case in point. I was only a marginal football fan until the 2002 World Cup. Due to the high caliber player I saw, due to the incredible competition I witnessed, and due to a great performance by the US national side I am a huge football fan now. I don’t miss a Colorado Rapids game, my hometown team. I watch many of the EPL games on Fox Soccer Channel. I watch the French league, Italian league and stay current with my family’s home team in Sweden. For football, I am the fan they want to attract by showcasing their best athletes every World Cup. I have a friend from England who watched the 2002 Olympics with me (on the premise I would watch the World Cup with him). He in turn became a huge hockey fan. He absolutly loves the Rangers now.

    That is the importance of showcasing the best athletes. You will gain more world exposure and more exposure in your league’s home country. And if we continue to think, as hockey fans, that we don’t need the “Joe America” as a fan, then I guess we’re satisfied with having a league that is second rate compared to the NFiLlegitimate, MLB, and NBA. Me, I know hockey is the best sport played by the purest athletes, who are the best character people in sports. Honor and integrity is a huge part of a hockey player’s makeup. But in order to know that, in order to identify with the NHL athlete, you must first be prompted to watch. The Olympics plays a huge role in that.

    Another important point is that the ametures already have several tournaments they can participate in. The U-19, U21’s, the World Juniors, etc. Let them have their tournaments and let the professionals have theirs.

  15. Gretzkin says:

    I think Gretzky put McCabe on the Taxi squad to silence the media, but had no intentions of using him.

    Even in the Neidermeyer talks, he was still 4th on the list, even though he was on the Taxi squad.

    Now with Jovo out, his chances improve, but yeah, hopefully he does more damage to his groin and doesn’t make the trip.

  16. Gretzkin says:

    No, it was Guerin.

    I used to work at Rexall Place from time to time.

    Guerin was an Oiler at the time and word traveled quick.

    Maybe Chelios was his roomate, but it was definitely Guerin.

  17. navajo says:

    I heard Chelios too. Oh well, still a funny ass story

  18. navajo says:

    As a Leaf fan, I like Mccabe for his scoring…nobody can deny he’s tearing it up this year. But he is SHIT when it comes to D…and I MEAN SHIT!!!!!!!!!!

  19. jarcpitre says:

    I don’t think there should be NHL players playing, unless they are with the farm team. It would be a great opportunity for scouts to look at their farm team prospects and juniors before the playoff race starts.

  20. triple_deke says:

    How many people WOULD ACTUALLY WATCH if it was all players that didn’t make it to the NHL? I never watch the Spengler cup… it’s just so much slower…

    In my opinion, if professional athletes were excluded, then they would have to be across the board… that doesn’t include sponsored athletes… all ski racers, for instance, are sponsored, but it doesn’t make them ‘professional athletes’…

    And to avoid the olympic medals in hockey from becoming an insignificant event, what about bringing the world juniors to the olympics?? They’re amateurs… most don’t have huge egos…

  21. habfan1160 says:

    I guess in today’s society there is no more loyalty to one’s country. The loyalty lies to the almighty dollar. If I were an NHL player and got asked to play for Canada, I would play for the team no questions asked.

    For me, I would make the Olympcis exclusive to players 23 years and younger. That way, the NHL season could still continue while still having representation in the Olympics.

  22. mtrakker85 says:

    Forsberg needs to sit the olympics out and rest his groin that he has missed time for 3 times already this year.

    I like how Kiprussoff is taking the olmypics off to rest his hip I believe. Naslund isn’t playing because of an injury as well.

    I just think it’s stupid to shut down the NHl for 2 weeks or however long it is so players can go out and risk injuring themsevles away from the team and becoming totally useless down the stretch. Now players could get hurt playing in the NHL, but for some reason, the impact isn’t the same as if they get hurt in something like the olpympics or an all-star game.

  23. Foppa12 says:

    Yeah why risk injury. You know what. Let’s not even use these valuable NHL’ers in the NHL season. The risk of injury is just to great.

    NHL players are the best in the world. To attract new fans you have to use the best players. To attract new NHL fans we need the best on the world stage…playing in the Olympics.

    If I was a player, and it came down to it, I’d sit out a NHL season before missing the Olympics.

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