My worst fears were finally confirmed, no NHL at the 2018 Winter Olympic games.
I really can’t express how disappointed I was when the news broke. I still don’t want to believe it and I keep looking for a faint hope clause or a change of heart by the NHL.
The Olympics celebrate athletic performances from the best in the world, but in 2018, the best hockey players in the world won’t be there. So, if the NHL won’t be there, who will be? Most likely, roster spots will be filled with a combination of players from the Russian and Euro Hockey leagues, and AHL and college players. This doesn’t mean that this calibre of hockey won’t be exciting or fun to watch. These guys will be playing their hearts out and most of them would give the shirts of their back to be able to play for their respective countries. It’s just not the same.
I guess I should take some solace in the report that Alexander Ovechkin still plans represent his country at the Olympics, with or without the NHL’s participation. And who knows, maybe the NHL and the Olympic Committee come to an agreement at the 11th hour. I won’t be holding my breath.