Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Gary Bettman On The 2022 Olympics

from Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet,

“I don’t know that we want to go to China,” Bettman said Friday of the 2022 Games in Beijing while speaking on a panel at the 2018 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “I think going to the Olympics is incredibly disruptive on a season.”...

While it appears Bettman and the league are still hesitant to allow their players to take time away from the NHL to participate in the international tournament, the commissioner did present one alternate option for the IOC.

“I’ve asked the IOC, I said ‘Why don’t you put us in the summer?’” Bettman said. “You know, just for you history buffs, that the first participation of hockey in the Olympics was in 1920 in Antwerp in the Summer Games. We’d be happy to go in the summer.

“I’m sure the players would be thrilled to go in the summer.”

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Comments

Paul's avatar

Following are two reactions from the Sportsnet piece…

Michael Traikos tweet,

Boom. The NHL is holding the power and Bettman knows it. These Olympics have shown that they are nothing without NHLers. Time for IOC to give in to whatever it is NHL wants.

Allan Walsh tweet,

Here we go again!  Gary, Gary, Gary.  When will you learn?

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/23/18 at 04:41 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

The players want to go so bad? Forfeit your salary of any games you miss.

ha. hahaha. hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha.

Posted by ilovehomers on 02/23/18 at 04:42 PM ET

Avatar

Forfeit your salary of any games you miss

Most of the Russians will do it for sure and possibly some players from other countries. Olympics are more important than Stanley Cup for all countries except USA and Canada imo. For Russia, 100%.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/23/18 at 04:51 PM ET

Avatar

Going in the summer seems like a reasonable solution.  The Olympics need the NHL more than the NHL needs them.  If the IOC wants to keep hockey in the winter games than they need to pony up and make it more attractive to the NHL.  Allow the NHL to reference the Olympics in marketing…pictures, video, etc… Going since 98 hasn’t moved the needle for the NHL in terms of popularity or TV ratings.

Posted by Steve1306 on 02/23/18 at 04:53 PM ET

HaHasek's avatar

Also for you history buffs: Way back in the 2000s and earlier, pros played in the wintertime Winter Olympics. Look it up!

Posted by HaHasek on 02/23/18 at 04:54 PM ET

Paul's avatar

For two years all heard from Bettman was the owners were worried about players getting injured and how the IOC did not treat the NHL properly,: access, video highlights, etc., now it is it disrupts the season and nothing else.

Trust me, this is all CBA setup talk.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/23/18 at 04:57 PM ET

nickp91's avatar

Bettman and the rest of the league continue to shoot themselves in the foot For every good measure they take to grow the game (expanding to Vegas) is set back by stupid decisions like not going to the Olympics

Posted by nickp91 on 02/23/18 at 05:04 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Is there any actual evidence that having NHL players actually benefits the NHL?  Is there an uptick in ticket sales and TV ratings following the Olympics?  If so, do they last?  If so, for how long?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Olympic hockey when it’s best-on-best and this year the games are pretty much an afterthought at best, but from the NHL’s perspective, from a cost (disruption of the season, star players potentially getting hurt, etc.) benefit analysis, is it really worth it?

Posted by Ajax19 on 02/23/18 at 05:28 PM ET

Avatar

is it really worth it?

If everything is about money, not worth it. But hope things like prestige of the country still matters. Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world, it should matter imo.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/23/18 at 05:39 PM ET

HaHasek's avatar

Considering it’s more about “building a global brand”, the Olympic influence on the NHL specific might be a difficult thing to measure.

Someone could also make the (thin) argument that you can’t measure how much Olympic Hockey works to prevent ratings/interest/revenue from going down more than it would w/o Olympic Hockey, especially long-term.

Posted by HaHasek on 02/23/18 at 05:41 PM ET

Avatar

Here we go again!  Gary, Gary, Gary.  When will you learn?

Learn what?  Gary does not need to learn anything.  If anyone needs to learn, its the IOC.

What exactly is Walsh complaining about?  Gary actually made a very reasonable suggestion here.  Walsh and Co are idiots.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 02/23/18 at 05:42 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Going in the summer seems like a reasonable solution.

This would be the best solution. There are Summer Olympics, so just add hockey to it. grin

Posted by bigfrog on 02/23/18 at 06:46 PM ET

The Meal's avatar

I’m very much on board with putting Ice Hockey into the summer Olympics.  Unfortunately it does take a pretty major draw away from the (already pretty small) winter Olympic sports lineup.

I’m not as in tune with other sports (especially non-NA team sports), but maybe there’s a swap out of the summer Olympics which makes sense?

I really like Olympic hockey.  The adjusted ice dimensions add an element of skill that I’d love to see imparted to our precious NHL.  Watching the Olympic games this year on that wider sheet of ice, without seeing the best quality performers on that sheet of ice was absolutely infuriating for me.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 02/23/18 at 07:01 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Here is the thing about playing in the summer, I feel Bettman is baiting the players with this.

He knows darn well it cuts into an already short summer for the players.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/23/18 at 07:06 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

I don’t know about the summer games… The summer Olympics already has roughly 7 billion events, and adding something as big as hockey—that takes over an entire arena for, what, 20 or so games? And that’s just the men, do we flip the women too?—sounds like a big ask. They could share a venue with the basketball tournament, but the ice will already be tough to maintain in July, let alone swapping out hard court and flooding the place and waiting for it to freeze.

The winter games are already adding made-up events like snowboard and ski hotdogging just to have enough events to bother holding the thing in the first place. They’re not going to want to give up one of their centerpieces just to placate a niche North American league.

Posted by Steeb on 02/23/18 at 07:09 PM ET

Primis's avatar

“I’ve asked the IOC, I said ‘Why don’t you put us in the summer?’” Bettman said. “You know, just for you history buffs, that the first participation of hockey in the Olympics was in 1920 in Antwerp in the Summer Games. We’d be happy to go in the summer.

“I’m sure the players would be thrilled to go in the summer.”

That’s pretty much a mic drop by Bettman.  Like him or not.  He pretty much threw it back into the IOC’s court.

Here is the thing about playing in the summer, I feel Bettman is baiting the players with this.
He knows darn well it cuts into an already short summer for the players.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/23/18 at 06:06 PM ET

Wait, so the players REALLY want to go…. but only if they can get a nice break in their season to do it?  Not if it interferes with their Caribbean and Vegas vacays?  So they don’t REALLY want to go badly…

Posted by Primis on 02/23/18 at 08:49 PM ET

Avatar

Is there any actual evidence that having NHL players actually benefits the NHL?  Is there an uptick in ticket sales and TV ratings following the Olympics?  If so, do they last?  If so, for how long?

It’s a difficult thing to measure but you can see a significant impact of the 1980s U.S. Olympic victory on the overall interest in the sport across the United States. A generation later there were many more U.S. players on NHL teams.

I’m a firm believer that you cannot look at these things short-term. It takes a generation for those encouraged to play that game to be ticket buyers.

I just don’t see a move to the summer working out for the Olympics. They honestly need to move some summer events to the winter games, not the other way around.

I also don’t believe, for a minute, that Bettman doesn’t want to be in China for the games. He is just holding it a potential bargaining chip for the next CBA.

Posted by evileye on 02/26/18 at 10:51 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com