Will NHL players be allowed to participate in the Olympics?

By Amrit G.

Olympic Rings On WhiteThe Winter Olympics are always a big hit with people all across the world, and arguably the biggest event is hockey. In 2010 and 2014 team Canada won gold both years featuring all star NHL lineups. Almost every team in the Olympics features one high calibre NHL player, now imagine the Olympics without NHL players, their profit would plummet for all sides of the party. The reason why NHL players almost didn’t play in the 2014 Olympics was because of safety concerns around Sochi. With all the terrorist threats and others people were scared for all the athletes. Almost all of them didn’t bring any family to the Olympics because they were not with their family the whole time which lends to safety for them. Now, NHL players may not participate is because of safety concerns on and off the ice in South Korea.

NHL players now may also not be allowed to participate in the 2018 Olympics due to safety concerns and mixed opinions about players wanting to go. The NHL says a decision should be made quickly on 2018 Olympics in order to get everything in order. “When we were in Vancouver? Absolutely great. Couldn’t have been better. Salt Lake City? Terrific. But when you’re in other time zones in other places, you don’t get quite as much attention, you don’t get quite as much visibility for the game and you give up a lot to do it. It’s always a balancing act and when you’re outside of North America, the balance is harder to strike.” NHL all star John Tavares was hurt last year in the Olympics also sparking concern for NHL players to participate. And even with the Games played in hockey-mad Russia this past winter, the time difference did some damage. The Canadian men’s gold medal win over Sweden, played at 7:00 a.m., drew 5,764,000 viewers. The 2010 final versus the United States, played in the afternoon, $16.5 million viewers. You can’t say Canada’s opponent messed the ratings when they were triple.

Hockey fans and sports fans around the world will be looking forward to the results. There is certainly a hype around why people would want NHL players for more viewers and essentially more money. To me it is a win-win situation for both parties and I don’t see why players will not participate.

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