Last edited by Russell Jaslow; 04-05-2017 at 07:40 AM.
Al, this is the way it used to be prior to the NHL sending its players to the Olympics. Back in the eighties, we had players join Team USA on a regular basis (Laney, Scotty, Al Bourbeau, Neil Sheehy, Teddy, Pete Ciavaglia, the list goes on and on). Because the decision is coming in the spring, coaches may now have to think about recruiting extra players to compensate for those that get chosen to go to Korea.My fear of it being college players is that we see guys get nationalized and take the year off from school. But essentially a WJC team with some older players and maybe the occasional AHL/European player would be somewhat fun to watch, even if I'd rather see the NHL go for growing the sport reasons.
I'm wondering if TEAM USA will consider asking the NHL to let players who sign entry level deals with NHL teams (McAvoy of the Bruins) join the US squad in January. Or sooner. There have to be a number of players who could help the national team compete against foreign competition that most assuredly will suit up pros from their home leagues.
Iíve generally dismissed the idea of putting hockey in the Summer Olympics without giving it much thought, but why not, it actually makes sense in a lot of ways. The only problem, is a place like Rio really going to build a 20,000 seat hockey arena? With a couple of other smaller rinks for practices and some games? Hard to imagine.
Plus, itís only every 4 years. And the NHL gets a ton of exposure out of it. Only they could find the negative in this. Not to mention, does everything in life have to be about the money? Sending the best players to the Olympics is fun and just the right thing to do. The fans want to see and the players want to play in it. Literally, it comes down to 30* guys in the world who donít want this to happen. (*Maybe 60, the GMs are probably against it, too. But truthfully, they probably want to see it, too, at least theyíre hockey guys, not just bankers who bought ďone of those ice hockey outfitsĒ.
Former Harvard Hockey broadcaster on 95.3 FM and WHRB.org.
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