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NHL Schedule: To Sochi or Bust?

Please join me in welcoming Monica McAlister (@MonicaMcAlister) to the stable of KK bloggers.

Monica will have her own blog by the time the new season begins and will also be helping out in the KK Hockey section too.

Her blogs will consist of topics to her liking and she will be all over the map when it comes to hockey topics.

Here is her first KK submission. -Paul

In a world where “no news is good news” we are once again in the dog days of summer with the National Hockey League.

 Unlike a year ago where the hockey world stared another NHL lockout coming at it like deer in a headlight this summer we are all sitting around waiting for the release of the 2013-14 season.

Why is there so much interest in the schedule? Many games have already been announced.  The Stadium Series games are out there already and next to the playoffs those are going to be some of the biggest games of the season.  Literally in fan attendance and in new/old rivals and television ratings.

The new alignment makes it interesting this year as both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings have moved to the East; while the Winnipeg Jets finally got their well-deserved move to the West.

Old rivals will become new rivals once again for teams like Detroit and Toronto; trades will cause interesting storylines with the New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets – who won the Rick Nash trade may finally be answered. 

Chicago may have lost Detroit but have gained the Minnesota Wild and they still have the Vancouver Canucks out West; whom still have Roberto Luongo in net after trading Corey Schneider to the New Jersey Devils. 

But why is it that everyone is waiting so impatiently for the schedule to be released?

With the NHL and the Olympic Committee still not in agreement for the 2014 Sochi Games it has become much more than just the schedule. It is a look into what could cause a bigger divide between North American and European players. 

For the NHL to play in the Sochi Olympic Games they would have to shut the league down for two weeks in February.  Just over a year after shutting down months for a lockout.   Everyone is making a huge deal about the time off that many are appearing to forget that the league would need to shut down for a week at least anyway for the All-Star Break. 

Fans on both sides of the North American divide celebrated when the Winter Classic was re-announced to be at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan only a year after its original date; however, no one is talking about the loss of the All-Star Game to the city of Columbus.

The NHL could just release the schedule for the two week break and it would not imply that they are in agreement with the IOC for Sochi; they could give Columbus a festival with more events leading up to the actual ASG that they had torn from them in lockout.  Instead they are looking at waiting yet another year before they receive their due.

Should the NHL go to the Olympics? Yes. Will releasing the schedule without a deal in place spell complete disaster for the league?  No.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


SYF's avatar

Hi, Monica.  Glad to have you here.  Soooooooo…where’s the Guinness?  cheese

Fans on both sides of the North American divide celebrated when the Winter Classic was re-announced to be at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan only a year after its original date; however, no one is talking about the loss of the All-Star Game to the city of Columbus.

There are points involved in the Winter Classic:  two for the win.  The ASG is nothing more than a bunch of schmoozing with sponsors and closing deals.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 07/19/13 at 12:26 PM ET

Monica McAlister's avatar

Agreed there is a lot of schmoozing with sponsors and deals being done at the ASG - but also at the Winter Classic - or any sporting event.  People start drinking (there is your Guinness) and deals get done on golf courses even.

It’s more about what the city of Columbus lost.  For my day job we were in Columbus the week leading up to what should have been the ASG for a clinic and the people all were talking abotu how big of a let down it was.  Business people and non business people.  Columbus resturants and hotels among other aspects were counting on that money. 

Yesterday’s news about Detriot really wasn’t a shock living north of the city; and Columbus isn’t Detroit; but all of these major cities need these events to help their economies in what is slowly becoming better times; but still not great times.

Posted by Monica McAlister from Michigan on 07/19/13 at 01:08 PM ET


“Winnipeg Jets finally got their well-deserved move to the West”

Logical yes, well-deserved NO. If they really wanted to be in the Western Conference, those poachers should have bought a Western Conference team like the, i don’t know, the Coyotes who were already in NHL ownership. I have ZERO pity for the Jets playing in the East and would have been just as happy to see them stuck there for years to come.

Detroit, on the other hand, was a much deserved move. It was a move promised long ago and the only reason they stayed in the West so long was to help prop up attendance in fledging markets. The team and their fans paid their dues over and over again, especially in the playoffs, with ridiculous travel.

Posted by evileye on 07/19/13 at 04:29 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.

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.

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