Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/26/13 at 07:15 AM ET
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Not half a day into the beginning of an orientation camp for NHLers hoping to play for Canada, and whispering this latest era of NHL participation is near an end was growing louder.
"They won't be going to Korea," was a common refrain among media in Calgary for Hockey Canada's orientation camp, featuring 47 Canadian-born NHLers, along with a management team and coaching group largely culled from NHL staffs.
Team Canada simply chose to not go on the ice rather than fork over the cash to insure a few light skates. That doesn't bode well for future NHL participation.
The International Olympic Committee will pay in the neighbourhood of $8 million to insure NHLers playing in Sochi, a price tag that was a major sticking point in negotiations.
The NHL wants to revive the World Cup, playing every second year, and the ever-increasing cost of insurance will be a convenient excuse if and when the league makes its move to bow out of the Olympics.
Control over broadcast schedules, revenue, game sites and costs make the World Cup concept far more attractive to the NHL and its owners. Playing late in the summer and not interrupting the NHL season is also a benefit to the league.
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