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Donald Fehr On The Olympics

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The NHL should not be waiting for the players to give up something in return for Olympic participation, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told ESPN on Thursday.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this week that if things stayed status quo, "assume we are not going" to next year's Winter Olympics. Many read that as an inference that the league wants the players to give something back so they can participate.

"I don't know what it can be from the players' perspective,'' Fehr told ESPN in a phone interview Thursday. "Obviously the players are not about to engage in collective bargaining in return for getting an opportunity to go to the Olympics for which they aren't being paid, where very valuable things would go elsewhere in return for that....

The bottom line, Fehr said, is the next two Olympics are a great opportunity for hockey.

"We do want to grow the game internationally, and I think the NHL shares that view," Fehr said. "I think they believe as we do that we have some advantages and we have an opportunity; and when you're doing that, you have to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

"Having two Olympic Games in Asia within a span of five years is not your ordinary kettle of fish. I don't know if it's unique, but I can't think of anything else which is close to it in terms of the potential exposure it would give.''

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

Comments

Steeb's avatar

I would have thought that, with the salary cap more or less flat for, what, the last 4 or 5 years +, the league and the PA would be willing to grasp at any straw for more exposure/a wider audience/more revenue streams. Not sending the best players from the “best league in the world” to the biggest sporting event on the globe is just daft. You can bet the KHL will be sending its players, FWIW.

A quick anecdote: I didn’t grow up a hockey fan, but I was a teenager in rural mid-America in 1980 and was blown away by the Miracle on Ice. This was obviously pre-cable/internet/etc, and it was hard to find NHL games. But what little I was able to find wasn’t all that interesting, since, after Lake Placid, NHL games seemed anti-climactic, but also because I had never heard of any of the players, apart from a very few—but try getting Atlanta Flames (with goalie Jim Craig) games in the middle of nowhere.  So it took a while longer (and a move to suburban Detroit with channel 50 and CBC) for me to really discover hockey and the NHL. So, long story… longer, I might have fallen in love with the NHL much sooner if I recognized any of the players from the Olympics.

Posted by Steeb on 03/23/17 at 04:19 PM ET

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The Olympics are a ready made stage for the NHL and the PA.  The World Cup is a contrived event with made up teams.  It just burns out already tired players.  Focus on the Olympics every four years.  Start the season early and don’t compress anything.  It’s sitting right there in front of them.

Posted by Henry on 03/24/17 at 11:08 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Very true Henry and welcome to KK.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/24/17 at 11:08 AM ET

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Thanks

Posted by Henry on 03/24/17 at 01:49 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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