Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/08/14 at 03:09 PM ET
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of the New York Times,
The prevailing wisdom is that N.H.L. teams sending a large number of players to the Olympics will stumble when the regular season resumes because their Olympians have endured too much travel, too much pressure and too many games. But at least one person disagrees.
“I’m not worried about post-Olympics like some people talk about,” said Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock, who has nine players heading to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. “When you’re there, you get a lot of rest. You don’t travel at all to the games; it’s a five-minute walk to the rink. You’re in a very central, localized atmosphere.”
About 140 of the N.H.L.’s best will participate in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament starting Wednesday, with preliminary rosters including at least two players from every league club. Anaheim, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, the Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Vancouver are sending seven or more.
Hitchcock, who is part of Canada’s coaching staff for the fourth consecutive Olympics, said that travel to and from Sochi would be a grind and that each N.H.L. team must monitor its Olympians when they return to make sure they are sufficiently rested.
“But when you get a chance to play in anything that’s a big game, I think that’s going to do nothing but help you,” he said.
Yet Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, told The Associated Press last month that he worried because the 16-day break could affect the teams with the most players in Sochi.
continued including a study by Eugene Melnyk on the effect of the Olympics...
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