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Compensate The NHL For Olympic Participation

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

Brace yourself, Bridget, but Usual Suspects is about to agree with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Unless it gets a share of the profits and more influence on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the NHL shouldn’t go to Russia.

The Olympic TV impact is negligible in most of the American burgs where Bettman has hawked franchises, the elite players are exhausted by the travel and it punishes the NHL regional broadcasters who must go on hiatus at a time when hockey has the stage almost alone to itself in February.

Plus, the NHL gets bupkis in return. As it stands now, the panjandrums of the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation are telling the league to butt out, they’ll be the ones to collect the cash. They’ll also tell you what uniforms teams can wear, how often you’ll play and probably how much luggage you’re entitled to bring.

It’s a one-sided deal, one not reflecting the NHL’s leverage: the world’s best hockey players.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+oiympics


pjwalny's avatar

The Olympics needs to get the NHL to sign on for the playoffs. Having the NHL players is essential.

I could understand why the NHL would be reluctant to cooperate. Does the NHL benefit at all from allowing there players to compete in the Olympics. It takes away a good chunk of the schedule which adds nothing but trouble for the NHL. Then the NHL has to condense all there games which hurts the players and teams the most.

Usually everything comes down to the money. Does the NHL receive any compensation for going outta there way to help the Olympics? They have to bend over backwards to make it work and in the end, if the NHL and its teams starts loosing money, it will end.

I dont know how to entice the NHL but the Olympics have to get the league to agree in letting they players play!

I hope for every hockey fan that the NHL figures something out so they will happily give in.

Posted by pjwalny from Not Detroit, evidently?? on 08/29/10 at 10:59 PM ET

landsharkhockey's avatar

It’s a petty positioning move by Bettman, nothing more or less.  We stomached the lockout, but I don’t know how we can endure this again.  Bettman claims fans are divided.  I’ve never heard or read a fan say that didn’t enjoy watching the NHL players in the games.  And how many would watch if they were absent.  Give it up and agree already.

Posted by landsharkhockey on 08/30/10 at 09:56 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I’ve never heard or read a fan say that didn’t enjoy watching the NHL players in the games.  And how many would watch if they were absent.  Give it up and agree already.

Posted by landsharkhockey on 08/30/10 at 07:56 AM ET

Nobody said they don’t enjoy watching.

Some of us don’t enjoy interrupting the regular season though to do it, and some of us hate what it does to our players.

I’ve gotta’ say, I agree with Bettman.  The NHL sacrifices and makes concessions to get players there, and in return gets sniped at by Fasel, gets poached by the KHL, and gets very little in return.

I would be all for Bettman telling the IOC that either they can move hockey to the Summer Games, or they can just take a hike.  We all like watching the Olympic hockey, but it’s still not worth it…

Posted by Primis on 08/30/10 at 10:05 AM ET


I can’t recall ever not watching the Olympics when the NHL players didn’t participate. I recall less than a decade ago when people were complaining that allowing pros compete would mean we would never see another Miracle on Ice again. After Nagano the opinion was not too favorable either. So it is best not to make a decision on any single event whether it be a disaster like Nagano or a positive one like Vancouver. 

And I’m not here to defend Bettman, but the accurate quote was that for the NHL (not fans or players) it was a mixed bag. From the owners standpoint having to shut doen shop so that someone else profits off of your investment has to be a bit or a turn off especially with the high handed approach of Rene Fasel. Soccer remains an Olympic sport and yet it limits professional participation so that the national teams can pump up the World Cup instead.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 08/30/10 at 10:52 AM ET

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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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