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Morning Line- Jari Kurri On The 2018 Winter Olympics

It’s definitely not the same tournament. It’s a sad story that the NHL players won’t be there and the best players won’t be there. I think, it will hurt hockey and it will hurt the fans because they would like to see the best players.

For the players who grew up playing hockey it was a dream to play in the Olympics, put their country’s flag on and to celebrate the Olympics with the whole family. The Olympics are not about hockey, they are about other sports. Cross-country skiers, ski jumpers are there, they are like a big family enjoying the Olympics. It’s a sad story.

There’s a lot of politics, money involved. I don’t want to still see it as a secondary tournament. I think, players who are going to be invited there should be proud of having the chance that other players enjoy.

-Jari Kurri at RT.com where you can read more or watch a 26 minute video of the interview.

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  Tags: jari+kurri

Comments

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Seems like everyone forgot that pre 1998 the NHL did not participate in the Olympics. I’m looking forward to see who will emerge as a hero in this format.

Posted by Steve1306 on 12/18/17 at 09:16 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

RT is state run media and they just keep trotting out anyone they can who will sell their soul for Russia’s never ending poutfest over being caught doping.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 12/18/17 at 10:13 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I thought the Olympics were just fine before NHL participation. lots of exciting hockey.

I remember some game from 1980, kinda’ exciting.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/18/17 at 10:38 AM ET

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I agree with everyone here.  I am looking forward to seeing these hockey games without NHL stars. 

On another front, when the NHL started participating it almost took over the winter Olympics to a degree in our household.  We didn’t watch as much of the other events.  Not sure if that will change this time around or not but I am guessing it will.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/18/17 at 11:01 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

If you want hockey without the best players, check out college hockey.

I personally enjoy watching the best players play the best players. How can it be the Olympics if the best players in the world aren’t playing?

Posted by TreKronor on 12/18/17 at 12:09 PM ET

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How can it be the Olympics if the best players in the world aren’t playing?

Because the Olympics are about the best amateur athletes competing.

It’s literally not the Olympics with NHL players.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 12/18/17 at 12:37 PM ET

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If you want hockey without the best players, check out college hockey.

Conversely, if you want to the NHL players, watch the NHL.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 12/18/17 at 12:37 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

How can it be the Olympics if the best players in the world aren’t playing?

Because the Olympics are about the best amateur athletes competing.

BINGO!

If you want hockey without the best players, check out college hockey.

Conversely, if you want to the NHL players, watch the NHL.

BINGO!

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/18/17 at 12:47 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Conversely, if you want to the NHL players, watch the NHL.

It’s not about watching NHL players, it’s about wanting to watch the BEST players from each country play together - that includes NHL and non-NHL players. 

For instance, why do I root for Sweden?  Because I find it amazing that these guys all come together, playing from all different leagues and teams, and can buy into their system and compete.  Half the roster you’ll have heard of, the other half you’ve never heard of.  Yet, it’s incredibly competitive hockey.

 

Posted by TreKronor on 12/18/17 at 12:54 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Because the Olympics are about the best amateur athletes competing.

Is that so?  Hmmm.  When did that change?

Posted by TreKronor on 12/18/17 at 12:54 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 12/18/17 at 11:54 AM ET

 


Through most of the 20th century the Olympics allowed only amateur athletes to participate and this amateur code was strictly enforced

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_sports

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/18/17 at 01:08 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Through most of the 20th century the Olympics allowed only amateur athletes to participate and this amateur code was strictly enforced

Was that when certain ethnicities were unable to participate, as well?  Welcome to the year 2017!

Posted by TreKronor on 12/18/17 at 01:12 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Was that when certain ethnicities were unable to participate, as well?  Welcome to the year 2017!

Going for a non sequiter already?

You’re white flag is accepted, kind sir smile

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/18/17 at 01:20 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“your”

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/18/17 at 01:20 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The Winter Olympics have been around for 93 years. They started letting some sports use pro athletes in 1988. In other words, for 2/3 of its history it was only amateurs.

Using professionals is the exception, not the rule, in Olympics history.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/18/17 at 01:25 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Going for a non sequiter already?

Well, no.  I was making a historical comparison to your historical comparison.

You’re white flag is accepted, kind sir

And there’s no need to win, lose, or forfeit a discussion.  This is something that’s wrong with too many people today.  Just because we have different viewpoints doesn’t make either of us right, nor does it make either of us wrong. 

But the wink face is kind of like saying, “no offense, but…”.  Or in this case, “I was just joking, chill man.”

Posted by TreKronor on 12/18/17 at 01:28 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

I’d like to see the Olympics return to amateur only. In the absence of an alternative, it was fun for a minute to have the pros attending to have best on best, but admitting the pros has only sterilized the Olympics. A hockey World Cup (a real one, not the nhl money grab version) every four years, hosted by the IIHF, is the event for an international best on best.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 12/18/17 at 02:08 PM ET

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This is something that’s wrong with too many people today.  Just because we have different viewpoints doesn’t make either of us right, nor does it make either of us wrong.

... said the guy that lost.

wink

 

 

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/18/17 at 02:51 PM ET

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Now that they have opened the bag and allow professional athletes, there is really no turning back. Athletes from just about every sport now use paid endorsements to fund their training and travel. Many of the sports they have added in the last 2 decades wouldn’t even exist without paid sponsorships.

Posted by evileye on 12/19/17 at 01:30 PM 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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