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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I would like to hear people's responses to the following interview with Brian Burke, general manager Team USA, that NBC had on its daytime show today:

Al Michaels: This is 4th Olympics that NHL has stopped play in the middle of the season for 2-3 weeks to allow their players to participate in the Olympics. There seems to be some question as to whether the NHL will again be a part of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The owners who think: "well, we can't shut the doors", don't they understand that, you know, hey look, this is very-very-very good, hopefully, down the line for the sport.

Brian Burke: Right now it is. But no one said that after Torino when both North American teams got knocked down on our asses...

Al Michaels (interrupts): Right.

Brian Burke: (continues) ... No one said: "We got to do this". Right now you guys [at NBC] are grinning like a cat that caught the canary because you got the match-up you wanted and it's generating huge coverage. I agree with you: if this is the script, then we should go every year. But we've gone 3 times and hasn't gone that well for the North American teams and when it's is overseas and they are not in the gold medal game - nobody cares.
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In other words - if they can be guaranteed that USA and Canada win - then NHL should continue to allow NHL players to play in the Olympics. But if the IIHF continues to insist that Europeans be given some chance at winning - screw them. Top NHL players didn't play any international games away from North America for quarter of a century - between 1973 and 1998 - for fear of Canada losing - and we should revert to this practice. Who needs fair international competition?

But what do average fans say? Shouldn't hockey be like other sports and allow some fair international competition? Don't you want to see top international competition at least for a week or two once every 4 years? And would you like to see a FAIR competition, or should NHL and NBC's need for USA and Canada to meet in the final top fairness?
 

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The NHL wants a European fans base. What better way to help that by allowing NHL players to play for their own countries once every 4 years. It is supposed to be the best each country has to offer and if you restrict who can go then you take away from that.

Besides if the NHL says players cannot go then they look like the bad guys and not only will the alienate European fans, they will alienate North American fans. Realistically, what can they do? Say Ovie goes to the Olympics in Sochi despite being told he can't. What's the NHL gonna do? Fine him and/or the team? Suspend him for the season? Either way they are going to lose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
T Realistically, what can they do? Say Ovie goes to the Olympics in Sochi despite being told he can't. What's the NHL gonna do? Fine him and/or the team? Suspend him for the season? Either way they are going to lose.
Has any player defied them yet? Say, in 1994. Gretzky could have gone to the Olympics, or Mario. But they didn't. Neither did any of the Europeans. I bet they were afraid of getting blackballed by the NHL.

What's different now? Maybe the rise of the Russian KHL? With it, if a player is blackballed by the NHL, he can make a good living in the KHL.

But what are the laws? If an NHL player gets punished or boycotted by the NHL, is he allowed to bolt to the KHL? Or does the NHL own his soul?

But if NHL players get allowed to go to Sochi, what control will the NHL have over the outcome? I don't think they can force the IIHL to go with the narrow rink like they did in these Olympics: the Russians will refuse to narrow down their rink. Will the NHL be able to exclude non-North American refs from reffing Team Canada and USA games? As the NBC interview attests, the Nagano and Sapporo "whippings" are still giving nightmares to the NHL bosses. But those were on neutral ice. But Sochi is in Russia, home ice of one of the European powers and Canada's and USA's declared nemesis. Can the NHL bosses handle the possibility of Canada losing to Russia? Will they be scared that such a loss may be a good advertising for KHL over NHL?

The bottom liner: shall we see the best NHL players in 2014 or not? Who can predict what the paranoid minds of the NHL owners will decide?

Do you think that if USA per chance wins tomorrow, the chances of NHL going to Sochi will increase or diminish?
 

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Its funny People say stuff like "If the NHL wants a European fan base what better way then the Olympics", but when they get marketing during the games within and out of North America how does that really help push the game? They can't advertise they're TV deals or make any money on the players they send. What happens if you're the Buffalo Sabers and you Send Ryan Miller to the Olympics and he has a season ending injury? the same could be said for all the stars, what true benefit does the NHL and its owners get that out way those risks right now?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Its funny People say stuff like "If the NHL wants a European fan base what better way then the Olympics", but when they get marketing during the games within and out of North America how does that really help push the game? They can't advertise they're TV deals or make any money on the players they send. What happens if you're the Buffalo Sabers and you Send Ryan Miller to the Olympics and he has a season ending injury? the same could be said for all the stars, what true benefit does the NHL and its owners get that out way those risks right now?
All these questions have been answered by international soccer. If major European soccer leagues can send their best players to play in international games - and they play dozens of such games per year - so can the NHL.

For example, have you heard of insuring players?

Moreover, wouldn't the same danger of injury exist when the Olympics are held in North America? So, why is the NHL fine with Olympics in North America and not in Europe?

Yes, the Russia-Sweden final would be bad for North American viewers, but can't the gain of European viewers somehow compensate?

Again, the bottom line - how can Canadian fans say: 'Yes, we have no problem with the NHL preventing us from seeing Canada's best play other countries' best. We are willing to live and die without seeing top-notch international hockey. We are suckers who willingly allow the greedy NHL bastards to deny us our pleasure. We shall just stupidly continue to shell out our hard-earned money for meaningless 80-some game NHL regular season and pretend that we care."?

Do any fans here in USA and Canada care about seeing top-notch international hockey in the next 8 years? Or is the idea of Canadian and Russian citizens playing for Atlanta play against the Canadian and Russian citizens playing for Detroit the most that you guys dream of? Do you know that the only reason why the players on your local NHL team agree to play for your city is because they get paid the most?
 

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IMO, the NHL can afford a 2-week shutdown every 4 years. I hope that if the NHL decides to not allow players to play in the 2014 olympics that all of the stars say, "screw the NHL" and go anyways.
I mean, seriously, what are they going to do, blacklist all their stars??? I dont think so!
 

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I think they should continue playing throughout the Olympic break, just with a slightly more relaxed schedule. There's definitely no need for the entire schedule to stop.
 

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I think this is absurd. Build on the hockey fan base that is already in these Eurpoean nations which have their own leagues! They see the "high quality" NHL players on the ice in person, and it just might convert some Europeans into NHL fans (just maybe). It is worth a shot, and owners don't really lose anything since they still play the same amount of games. Sure, they might have a slow February, but in the end, I think the benefits this brings to the North American game is huge (or at least its potential is huge). Not to mention what does for casual sports fans IN NORTH AMERICA!!! People who have NEVER watched a game of hockey in their lives are going to watch this game today, possibly breeding a new generation of hockey fans right here at home. (Mainly, that last argument is aimed at Americans, because we all know how much hockey is already a part of the culture in Canada).
 

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FX™;580408 said:
I think they should continue playing throughout the Olympic break, just with a slightly more relaxed schedule. There's definitely no need for the entire schedule to stop.
The problem with that is that there are teams with an insane amount of Olympians. San Jose would be missing 4/6 of their top six, their starting and backup goaltenders and two of their best defenseman.

Having to call players up to fill those positions will use up cap space and could possibly put a team over the cap.
 

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In other words - if they can be guaranteed that USA and Canada win - then NHL should continue to allow NHL players to play in the Olympics. But if the IIHF continues to insist that Europeans be given some chance at winning - screw them. Top NHL players didn't play any international games away from North America for quarter of a century - between 1973 and 1998 - for fear of Canada losing - and we should revert to this practice. Who needs fair international competition?

But what do average fans say? Shouldn't hockey be like other sports and allow some fair international competition? Don't you want to see top international competition at least for a week or two once every 4 years? And would you like to see a FAIR competition, or should NHL and NBC's need for USA and Canada to meet in the final top fairness?
The bolded portions of your post are such utter drivel. What the heck are you talking about? Come back to reality, it isn't that bad.

Has any player defied them yet? Say, in 1994. Gretzky could have gone to the Olympics, or Mario. But they didn't. Neither did any of the Europeans. I bet they were afraid of getting blackballed by the NHL.
Several Russians have already openly said they would defy the NHL and play in Sochi regardless of penalty.
What's different now? Maybe the rise of the Russian KHL? With it, if a player is blackballed by the NHL, he can make a good living in the KHL.
The difference is money, mainly with injuries close behind.

Closing NHL arenas for 2 weeks is costing the teams money. With the compacted schedule, there is also less time to books other events in the arenas.

But what are the laws? If an NHL player gets punished or boycotted by the NHL, is he allowed to bolt to the KHL? Or does the NHL own his soul?
:eek::eek:

But if NHL players get allowed to go to Sochi, what control will the NHL have over the outcome? I don't think they can force the IIHL to go with the narrow rink like they did in these Olympics: the Russians will refuse to narrow down their rink. Will the NHL be able to exclude non-North American refs from reffing Team Canada and USA games? As the NBC interview attests, the Nagano and Sapporo "whippings" are still giving nightmares to the NHL bosses. But those were on neutral ice. But Sochi is in Russia, home ice of one of the European powers and Canada's and USA's declared nemesis. Can the NHL bosses handle the possibility of Canada losing to Russia? Will they be scared that such a loss may be a good advertising for KHL over NHL?
Good grief man, is this your first Olympics, or any international tournament? When playing in NA they use the NHL size rinks. When playing in Europe they use the European size rinks. There is no demanding of a narrower rink or any other such garbage.

The bottom liner: shall we see the best NHL players in 2014 or not? Who can predict what the paranoid minds of the NHL owners will decide?
There will be NHL players in Sochi.

Do you think that if USA per chance wins tomorrow, the chances of NHL going to Sochi will increase or diminish?
Who wins will have little to no bearing on what happens in Sochi.

Its funny People say stuff like "If the NHL wants a European fan base what better way then the Olympics", but when they get marketing during the games within and out of North America how does that really help push the game? They can't advertise they're TV deals or make any money on the players they send. What happens if you're the Buffalo Sabers and you Send Ryan Miller to the Olympics and he has a season ending injury? the same could be said for all the stars, what true benefit does the NHL and its owners get that out way those risks right now?
Ask an Ottawa Senators fan. They lost Hasek for the season in the first game of the Olympics in Turin.
 

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All these questions have been answered by international soccer. If major European soccer leagues can send their best players to play in international games - and they play dozens of such games per year - so can the NHL.

For example, have you heard of insuring players?

Moreover, wouldn't the same danger of injury exist when the Olympics are held in North America? So, why is the NHL fine with Olympics in North America and not in Europe?

Yes, the Russia-Sweden final would be bad for North American viewers, but can't the gain of European viewers somehow compensate?

Again, the bottom line - how can Canadian fans say: 'Yes, we have no problem with the NHL preventing us from seeing Canada's best play other countries' best. We are willing to live and die without seeing top-notch international hockey. We are suckers who willingly allow the greedy NHL bastards to deny us our pleasure. We shall just stupidly continue to shell out our hard-earned money for meaningless 80-some game NHL regular season and pretend that we care."?

Do any fans here in USA and Canada care about seeing top-notch international hockey in the next 8 years? Or is the idea of Canadian and Russian citizens playing for Atlanta play against the Canadian and Russian citizens playing for Detroit the most that you guys dream of? Do you know that the only reason why the players on your local NHL team agree to play for your city is because they get paid the most?
It's like an educated version of Sabresfan.

I think they should continue playing throughout the Olympic break, just with a slightly more relaxed schedule. There's definitely no need for the entire schedule to stop.
I agree. Even just 4 games per team over the 2 weeks would be good enough.
 

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All these questions have been answered by international soccer. If major European soccer leagues can send their best players to play in international games - and they play dozens of such games per year - so can the NHL.

For example, have you heard of insuring players?

Moreover, wouldn't the same danger of injury exist when the Olympics are held in North America? So, why is the NHL fine with Olympics in North America and not in Europe?

Yes, the Russia-Sweden final would be bad for North American viewers, but can't the gain of European viewers somehow compensate?

Again, the bottom line - how can Canadian fans say: 'Yes, we have no problem with the NHL preventing us from seeing Canada's best play other countries' best. We are willing to live and die without seeing top-notch international hockey. We are suckers who willingly allow the greedy NHL bastards to deny us our pleasure. We shall just stupidly continue to shell out our hard-earned money for meaningless 80-some game NHL regular season and pretend that we care."?

Do any fans here in USA and Canada care about seeing top-notch international hockey in the next 8 years? Or is the idea of Canadian and Russian citizens playing for Atlanta play against the Canadian and Russian citizens playing for Detroit the most that you guys dream of? Do you know that the only reason why the players on your local NHL team agree to play for your city is because they get paid the most?
Are you comparing a non-physical game like soccer to a constantly physical game like hockey? really? they are nothing alike, soccer players are pampered and rarely take any physical contact and when they do they act like they died. If you put a soccer player in hockey skates and into the NHL he's be in the penalty box for diving ever time he was out of the penalty box. :laugh:

As an educated fan I can see passed my simple cheering to a much larger picture and I agree with what Bettman has to say about this which is a first.
 
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