Canada winning the 2014 gold medal was a tough pill to swallow for the Americans. The fall back position, like every sports fan has, is the assurance that there is always next season. Four years from now, the USA can get another shot to exact its revenge on the Canadians in their national sport. However, as fans are holding on to that hope, four years from now may be a different tournament than the past.
The NHL owners don’t care for the Olympic that much and it’s hard to blame them. Every four years, the season grinds to a halt for two weeks, the players risk injury and the owners don’t see any profit out of it. When players like John Tavares get injured, it’s strong evidence that the Olympics can be dangerous.
Canada’s gold medal may be the last in the NHL player era of Olympic hockey. With the Winter Olympics moving to South Korea in four years, the NHL will not have fertile ground to grow the game of hockey.
Personally, I don’t believe that the owners will be able to pull the players away from the Olympics. NBC needs the Olympics as a television show and if the NHL is not allowed in the Games, the NBC loses cash. I suspect that NBC will play hard ball to get the star power. Money will solve everything and NBC can include the NHL at a premium.
So, if the NHL owners get their way and keep the pros out of the Olympics, would you watch the men’s hockey tournament or is the star power of NHL players the reason you watch? Tell us what you think.