Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bruins' Jeremy Jacobs, Blue Jackets' John Davidson join owners' anti-Olympic-participation brigade

02/22/2014 at 7:35pm EST

I guess I'd hoped for too much in expecting the NHL's Board of Governors to at least not chime in yet again regarding certain members' disdain for NHL Olympic participation until the games had ended, especially given Ed Snider's vociferous opposition just prior to the Olympic break.

On the eve of the gold medal game, the chairman of the NHL's Board of Governors, Boston Bruins, Jeremy Jacobs, sent an email to the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel regarding the NHL's participation in the Olympics, suggesting that the NHL might not want to participate in the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea:

In an email, Jacobs wrote, “I know the importance of competing in the Olympics to many of our players — they are our partners and if it is important to them it should be important to us.”

Jacobs listed four main areas of concerns for the owners: shutting the league down for more than two weeks and its effect on fans and corporate partners; the risk of injury to the top players; mental and physical fatigue among those players; and the compressed schedule and “the challenges it creates for the buildings.”

He concluded, “While these issues exist, balancing them with all of the good that comes with our participation in the Games is a difficult task — one that we will have to continue to explore with our partners over the coming years.”

Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson also told Klein that he's not a fan of the concept:

“We’re building our season-ticket base,” said John Davidson, president of hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were playing well heading into the Olympic break. “We were in a groove. It was our time of year. There’s no Ohio State football. It’s Columbus Blue Jacket time. And we got shut down for two and a half, three weeks. It doesn’t help.”

Klein and Hackel continue, noting that most owners would prefer to see the NHL hold a "World Cup of Hockey" every four years instead.

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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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