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On Playing For One's Country


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Who cares? If Crosby doesn't want to play, I don't care. I didn't even watch the WHC.

Well, for my part... I was scouring for online feeds or highlights even from Division III to see teams like Luxembourg, North Korea and Greece... considerable importance is placed on this tournament worldwide.

I've watched more of the IHWC since it started than of the NHL playoffs...

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Do European major-league hockey object to having the HWC moved to the pre-season?

The IIHF will never adjust the timing of the HWC. I say bring back the World Cup of Hockey (formerly the Canada Cup). It was organized by the NHL and the NHL PA and allowed all teams to field the best squad possible. It was always played in the preseason under NHL rules and between winter olympics.

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Actually, the HWC timing is made to cater to European major-league hockey. The KHL, as well as the SM-liiga (two European hockey major leagues) end their playoffs in late April.

If the World Cup was somehow revived (maybe under another NHL commissioner) would European major-league hockey object to have it in the pre-season?

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Actually, the HWC timing is made to cater to European major-league hockey. The KHL, as well as the SM-liiga (two European hockey major leagues) end their playoffs in late April.

If the World Cup was somehow revived (maybe under another NHL commissioner) would European major-league hockey object to have it in the pre-season?

I would doubt that they would have a say or if the NHL would care what they think. I would imagine the bigger stumbling block to holding another World Cup would be the NHLPA and the negotiations on who and how much money would be shared. Would have to be collectively bargained with the union, just like the NHL's involvement in the Olympics. Which,by the way, is not a slam dunk for the next Olympics in Russia.

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And who among the NHL would not want its players play during the Olympics? Players, coaches, GMs?

I would say the owners. According to Prime Time Sports, many are already making noise about having dark buildings for 2 weeks, crazy scheduling, and of course....Where's their money????? LOL Seems the IOC and IIHF are making a killing and thats about it. I have the feeling the NHL wants in on some of the action.

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I think the NHL is hooped vis a vis the Olympics... they haven't much option but to let the players go.

If they say no, then what'll they do? Suspend Ovechkin, Malkin, the Sedins, etc, etc, suspend all your star players? I don't think that'll fly. Because maybe Canadian and American players won't go (but I suspect they will if they're invited), but the Europeans will.

The NHL does have the highest level of competition in the world at the moment, but it really needs to stop acting like hockey doesn't exist anywhere else, or that the rest of the hockey world is there to serve it.

As for the World Cup... it's not a suitable replacement for the IHWC, as it does not promote the growth of the sport internationally; it's merely an all-star competition of the top 8 nations; there's no way for another country to earn its way in through improvement of their hockey program.

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Again, a new commissioner that has the best interests of hockey in mind, rather than to act as though the entire hockey world must cater to their needs, would let the players go to the Olympics since TV coverage of Olympic allow would-be players from around the world to see the world's very best players and, eventually, be inspired to play hockey at the topmost level.

The players, as well as the fanbase of the NHL, would be largely in favor of letting the players make the Olympic tryouts and the Olympics themselves.

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I think the NHL is hooped vis a vis the Olympics... they haven't much option but to let the players go.

If they say no, then what'll they do? Suspend Ovechkin, Malkin, the Sedins, etc, etc, suspend all your star players? I don't think that'll fly. Because maybe Canadian and American players won't go (but I suspect they will if they're invited), but the Europeans will.

Most players will not go. There were two decades (I think it was the 70s anyways) between when pros were allowed in the Olympics (aka when NHL players were eligible) and when the NHL allowed its players to go. There were no issues with players abandoing their teams that I know of (at least not significant issues).

And if they go, ya you suspend them, save yourself some money for the few weeks, and then get them back for the rest of the regular season and playoffs. If the NHL doesn't allow its players to leave, I just can't see them en masse breaching their contracts.

It will all be decided in the next CBA, it's really a matter of how hard the NHLPA pushes for it and how much the owners want to get out of it.

I would doubt that they would have a say or if the NHL would care what they think. I would imagine the bigger stumbling block to holding another World Cup would be the NHLPA and the negotiations on who and how much money would be shared. Would have to be collectively bargained with the union, just like the NHL's involvement in the Olympics. Which,by the way, is not a slam dunk for the next Olympics in Russia.

A WC is pointless with NHL players in the Olympics, but if they aren't in it, it makes a lot of sense.

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If the NHL doesn't allow its players to leave, I just can't see them en masse breaching their contracts.

Several Russians, including Ovechkin and Malkin, have already stated that they will play in Sochi regardless of whether the NHL says they can or cannot go.

I can't see too many of the European players not following suit.

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For instance, what good players can Canada field from the AHL or European major-league hockey? Do we still have a chance to defend our Olympic championship with that kind of players? (considering Ovechkin and Malkin would be the star players of the Russian team)

Make no mistake, we can hold our own in the HWC with that kind of players. But how do the AHL compare to European major-league hockey, in terms of playing level? Is the AHL better than European major-league hockey? Or is it the other way around?

In one of the pre-seasons, I remember that the Florida Panthers (one of the bottom-ranked NHL teams) got beaten in overtime by the Tampere Tappara, itself a middle-of-the-road SM-liiga team at the time.

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Several Russians, including Ovechkin and Malkin, have already stated that they will play in Sochi regardless of whether the NHL says they can or cannot go.

I can't see too many of the European players not following suit.

It's in Russia and after this year's disappointment, maybe Russian players will be more likely to go, but I'm not sure why you're grouping all Europeans together. Even so, Ovechkin is talking 4 years ahead of time before it's even known if the NHL will be going or not, he may just be blowing smoke. If he really wants to win a Cup, I just don't see him leaving his team for a few weeks to play without him (plus giving up a good chunk of money if they suspend him)

And again, there were many Olympics where NHL players were eligible but not given time off, it was a non-issue, not sure why all of a sudden that would change.

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For instance, what good players can Canada field from the AHL or European major-league hockey? Do we still have a chance to defend our Olympic championship with that kind of players? (considering Ovechkin and Malkin would be the star players of the Russian team)

This isn't unchartered waters, we can look historically. Canada was screwed decades ago when it was "amateurs only" combined with the Soviets being "amateurs" in name only (making the US "Miracle On Ice" team so miraculous). But there were three Olympics where pros went, but the NHL didn't break:

1994: Canada won silver

1992: Canada won silver

1988: Canada came in 4th

So not too bad. Remember there are many Canadians playing over in Europe (the reason we generally do well at the Spengler Cup) also available. Even if the NHL doesn't participate, many professional leagues will shut down or at least allow their players to leave, so it's not like we'd be icing an amateur team (and there is no longer the issue of Soviet "amateurs")

Make no mistake, we can hold our own in the HWC with that kind of players. But how do the AHL compare to European major-league hockey, in terms of playing level? Is the AHL better than European major-league hockey? Or is it the other way around?

I'd assume European teams are better (although the top AHL players may be better since NHL prospects may be there temporarily). But, the best European players are generally in the NHL anyways, and there are plenty of Canadians in Europe, so it may not much matter.

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  • 1 month later...
This isn't unchartered waters, we can look historically. Canada was screwed decades ago when it was "amateurs only" combined with the Soviets being "amateurs" in name only (making the US "Miracle On Ice" team so miraculous). But there were three Olympics where pros went, but the NHL didn't break:

1994: Canada won silver

1992: Canada won silver

1988: Canada came in 4th

So not too bad. Remember there are many Canadians playing over in Europe (the reason we generally do well at the Spengler Cup) also available. Even if the NHL doesn't participate, many professional leagues will shut down or at least allow their players to leave, so it's not like we'd be icing an amateur team (and there is no longer the issue of Soviet "amateurs")

It's not going to be Canada that would be hardest hit if NHL couldn't participate, and neither Russia would be. There is nowhere near as many American players currently playing in European major-league hockey as there is even Canadian players but can the U.S. really rely on collegiate and AHL teams to ice anything like what Canada could ice with only European major-leaguers? However, there is room for impact players from anywhere in European major-league hockey. Even Americans.

Maybe if the NHL did not allow its players to go (despite not shutting down) the AHL will... And most European major hockey leagues that could possibly supply at least a few would-be Olympians or so would at least allow its players leave during the Olympics, if not shut down for the entire duration of the Olympics.

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