Kukla's Korner Hockey
Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have more on the possibility of NHL players still going to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games, who could replace Mike Babcock as Canada's head coach and where Hockey Canada would get its players from.
Watch at TSN...
Ovechkin also believes the NHL has yet to make a final decision.
Any notion that these two sides -- the NHLPA and NHL -- were partners in growing the game appear to be gone, thoughts of shared press conferences preceding the World Cup of Hockey a distant memory. You can already see the two sides retreating to their corners.
-Craig Custance of ESPN when answering this question- What will be the most notable fallout from the NHL's decision not to go to the Olympics? More from Custance and the ESPN hockey crew.
The National Hockey League will not participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, it was announced by the league.
“The IIHF is deeply disappointed to hear of Commissioner Bettman's decision not to have National Hockey League players take part in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
“While we respect the NHL’s reasons for not taking part, there is no hiding the fact that this is a decision that robs ice hockey fans of the world's greatest best-on-best international ice hockey competition, and our sport of a truly global platform that has been in place since 1998. At the end of the day, ice hockey loses here.”
Following the IOC's decision not to cover costs such as insurance and travel for the NHL players, the IIHF worked to find a common ground that would have encouraged the NHL to continue to be a part of the Olympics.
In light of the NHL’s refusal to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the IIHF will discuss with the participating teams the best way forward and move on with preparations for PyeongChang 2018.
“We have to remember that some of the greatest Olympic moments didn’t involve NHL players at all,” said Fasel. “We will move forward and continue preparations for PyeongChang. We still have the task to promote and build our game in Asia, and we will work hard towards this.”
continue which also includes this statement from the IOC...
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
I have to tell you, I never thought they’d do it.
I thought someone would step up at the last second. Or, I thought NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman would hold his nose and say, “As much as I hate this…we’ll go.”
Let me say this in no uncertain terms: this is bad. It’s bad for hockey. South Korea may not be China, but it’s not the Solomon Islands. There are a lot of people and influential sponsors who could be exposed to the game.
The Olympics are a fantastic showcase, the pinnacle of sport. The players love it, fans love it. I loved covering them. It’s terrific. Hockey does not win by missing out.
Here’s the problem: it’s not so easy to pick the villain. Bettman is an obvious target, and being commissioner means you eat it. The job and salary comes with that responsibility.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
You know who really loses? Hockey. The World Cup was mostly boring fare, save for Team North America, a glittering collection of talent we won’t ever see again. It wasn’t a replacement, for the players or anybody else. People like NHL players at the Olympics. It’s the best against best, even when Canada uses the bigger rink to systematically erase scoring chances, the way it did in Sochi. It’s the biggest global stage there is.
But so much of hockey thinks small. The Olympics were a fun part of a sport that doesn’t have as much fun as it should, and now has less. Scoring remains anemic, fan-pleasing violence has been reduced to little trickles, the players’ personalities remain hidden, the trade market is more frozen than ever, and the limits of this league’s imagination apparently extends to outdoor games, 3-on-3 overtime, and smaller goalie pants. Now, the Olympics are gone, for now.
added 7:19pm, On the other hand, Don Cherry says the right decision.
NEW YORK (April 3, 2017) -- The National Hockey League today released the following statement regarding the 2018 Olympic Winter Games:
“We have previously made clear that, while the overwhelming majority of our Clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-18 NHL season for purposes of accommodating Olympic participation by some NHL players, we were open to hearing from any of the other parties who might have an interest in the issue (e.g., the IOC, the IIHF, the NHLPA) as to reasons the Board of Governors might be interested in re-evaluating their strongly held views on the subject. A number of months have now passed and no meaningful dialogue has materialized. Instead, the IOC has now expressed the position that the NHL’s participation in Beijing in 2022 is conditioned on our participation in South Korea in 2018. And the NHLPA has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the Clubs. As a result, and in an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 Regular Season schedule without any
break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games. We now consider the matter officially closed.”
added 3:54pm, from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The NHL announced Monday that it will not participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, ending a run of five consecutive Winter Olympics with NHL players....
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said in the past several months that the owners were against Olympic participation for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was the 17-day break in the schedule required in February, a time when the National Football League's season has ended and Major League Baseball's season has yet to begin.
"I think the realities of Olympic participation are more apparent to our Board now and I think it just leads to less enthusiasm about the disruption," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles in January. "Quite frankly we don't see what the benefit is from the game standpoint or the League standpoint with respect to Olympic participation."
The NHL conducted polls in both Canada and the United States to determine if fans were in favor of the League taking a break in February to allow players to compete in the Olympics. In the United States, 73 percent said they were not in favor. In Canada, it was 53 percent against the break.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Disappointment in Florida
It did not help the Panthers that Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Nick Bjugstad were among the players who missed big chunks of time this season because of injuries. Still, injuries do not excuse a collective step back for a team that looked like it was going to sprint the other way. Aaron Ekblad was among the bigger disappointments, losing some of the blue-line presence and consistency that he showed in his first two NHL seasons. Ekblad was not done any favors by his coach, however, who acknowledged rushing the defenseman back from a concussion. Tom Rowe, who doubles as the GM, is considered an interim coach. The Panthers will be on the hunt for a permanent replacement behind the bench.
Quickening the pace
When it comes to game flow, one area that seems easy to target is post-icing play. Coaches encourage their players to try every trick in the book — feign confusion over who was on the ice, skate slowly to the other end, fidget with their equipment — to gain a few additional seconds to catch their breath. As soon as the linesmen are ready to drop the puck, they should do so, regardless of whether the icing team is set. Uncontested faceoffs and subsequent scoring chances would get every coach’s attention.
via the Pyongyang Times (roughly translated),
National Ice Hockey League leader Gary Bettman visited an unscheduled stop on Friday in the nation's capital city to discuss sports commissioner Way-Ne Long the possibility to play an exhibition on ice game.
Although details released not, many believe it would be the first game of ice hockey played in North Korea.
Commisioner Bettman requested anonymity due to plans still in the early process.
Previously the NHL entourage visited China to set up exhibition games two next fall.
Noted the Bettman attended university with our Supreme Leader's' uncle and developed a lasting relationship to this day.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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