- 12/06/2011, 12:14PM ET
BM. said 12/06, 12:14 PM
This is a tie-breaker TD for Grue's NBAT Tournament.
YES, NHL players should absolutely be allowed to play in the 2014 Olympics.
And here are the reasons why:
1. The players love it. They are proud to represent their home country in the olympics, whether their team is good or bad. Every NHL player dreams of two things: winning a Stanley Cup, and winning Olympic gold, so they jump at the chance to participate in the olympics.
2. They are playing on the biggest stage in the world. People watch Olympic hockey even if they don't watch the NHL. They love rooting for their country. It's the best possible exposure that hockey can get, and the NHL should take anything they can get when it comes to gaining fans.
3. Competition. Without NHL players in the Olympics, Russia would absolutely dominate. Players in Russian professional leagues get to participate even if NHL players don't. The talent pool would be severly decreased if NHL players weren't allowed to play. The olympic hockey tournament is one of the biggest and most competitive tournaments on the planet, and this is largely due to the fact that NHL players are there competing.
PatsFan21 said 12/06, 01:17 PM
No, NHL players should not be allowed to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
There is little reason to justify missing 2 and a half weeks in the middle of a season.Take 2010 for example. The Kings won 9 of 10 going into the break, but lost all of their momentum and lost 5 of 7 after the Olympics. It's not fair to a hot team to have all their momentum taken away for the Olympics.
Secondly, the players signed contracts to play for these teams. The teams, and the league, have the right to do what is best for the teams. What if a star gets hurt right before the playoffs in the Olympics and is done for the season? That is entirely possible with the intesity of those games. In this situation, the risk outweighs the reward.
Finally, would the talent pool in the NHL be decreased? Yes. But the NHL could do something similar to soccer, allowing pro players under 21 to compete. The US and Canada would do still compete with guys like Nugent Hopkins, Seguin, and Fowler on the teams. They might not win but exposing young talent to that level could be beneficial as well for them, and the stars stay healthy. Plus, your still competitive.
Good Luck MMT!
BM. said 12/06, 03:07 PM
There are plenty of reasons why a 2 week break is justified. First of all, it's not like the players are going to be sitting around doing nothing for two weeks. They will either be representing their country in the Olympics, or staying home and practicing with their team. They would not get rusty.
The momentum argument holds no weight in my opinion. Some teams are going to be up, some will be down, and some will be average going into the Olympics. Momentum would not be something that would effect the decision because not everybody is in the same boat. Some wouldn't want the break, but some would. So that issue is up in the air from the get-go.
The whole "they could get injured" argument also holds no weight with me. Olympic hockey is not the same as NHL hockey. Olympic hockey is not played with the same hard-hitting, gritty style that the NHL is played with. The risk of injury is minimal compared to the NHL.
It's the world's biggest stage. The players want to be there. The world wants to see them there.
The reward outweighs the risk exponentially. The NHL would be smart to continue allowing players showcase their skills on the biggest sporting state known to man.
PatsFan21 said 12/06, 05:21 PM
How does a possible injury hold no weight? The risk of losing a superstar for the remainder of the season is a BIG deal. Teams can't afford (literally) to risk losing their star players. Those players are the cause of revenue for the team, and decide their season's fate. Injuries are a huge risk.
How much does the Olympics really build hockey around the world? Not very much. Judo is an olympic sport and has been since 1972. Does that mean it has been become popular around the world? No. What is judo? Exactly.
Take 2006 Winter Olympics for example. The NHL allowed it's players to play overseas. How'd that go? Not so well.
Finally, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games take place are in Russia. That's about a 9 hour time difference from the East Coast and 12 hours from the West Coast. So, its not like these games are going to be in prime time here. Casual fans will not be up at 5 AM to watch the US. It's not going to greatly increase our popularity.
Allowing our young "kids" to play in this game will not only develop them as young players but we can show the diehards, the future we do have.
It's best to not have the pro players play in this one.
BM. said 12/06, 05:35 PM
The probability of a serious injury during olympic hockey is exponentially less than NHL hockey. That's a fact. They don't hit as much, they don't fight, the ice surface is bigger and more open, and they focus on offense. The risk doesn't outweigh the reward. Not even close, actually.
Judo =/= hockey, and I will leave that point where it is.
The time difference is completely meaningless. The games will be on TV at odd times, but they will also be replayed at times more conducive to viewership, not to mention that most people have DVR nowadays and can record the games easily to watch at their own convenience.
But the games are in Russia, so ALL EUROPEANS will be able to see the games at normal times. Hockey is pretty popular in Europe as it is, but I think these Olympics will make it even more popular because of the amount of exposure it will get if NHL players are in the lineup.
"Allowing our young "kids" to play...."
And we will get a watered down product that doesn't showcase the true nature of the competition. It's supposed to be the best of the best versus the best of the best.
No NHL players in the Olympics does not accomplish that.
Good TD Patsfan.
PatsFan21 said 12/07, 12:53 AM
You mentioned watered down talent, but remember the US won the Olympics twice with no NHLers on the squad. With amateurs or under 21 year old pros, the NHL protects itself from losing a star player to an injury in the Olympics.
The international game might be less physical, but still, hockey is a physical support. All it takes is a blocked shot taken badly, or a trip and a bad twist of the knee for a season to be over.
The NHL needs to protect itself from this. The topic says should the NHL allow its players to play in the games. The NHL needs to do what is best for the league. It is best for the league to keep its players healthy and in the NHL.
The time difference is not meaningless. Average fans are not going to go out of their way to record the games. It's just the nature of the fans.
Look at past history of sending the players overseas, 2006 was a disaster, does the NHL want that again?
Finally, the Olympics were meant for amateurs, not professionals. The NHL should abide by that. Let the amateurs and young kids play in the game.
To conclude, the NHL should do what is best for the NHL, and that is keep it's players here.
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