Just when you thought the National Hockey League couldn’t get much worse, boom, they hit us with a bombshell. Last week, the NHL officially announced that they will not be taking a break for the Pyeongchang, South Korea Olympic Winter games in 2018. It is a decision that sends shockwaves across the hockey world.
If you’re not already fired up about this decision like myself, I’m going to try my best to try to make you understand my anger. I apologize in advance for my pessimism, but man would I love it if the NHL wasn’t run by a bunch of stupid idiots.
The NHL owners may claim that they made this decision to prevent their players from getting injured, avoid scheduling complications, or get out of the bad deal that the IOC gives them every four years, but it’s obvious that they just don’t care about growing the game of hockey whatsoever.
Even though the NHL has never been the most popular of the four major professional sports in the United States, those in charge are finding a way to make themselves look even less and less appealing. In a time where scoring is starting to match that of the average 2-1 soccer game, the NHL is now deciding to make their product even less attractive to the casual fan by foregoing the Olympics.
The Olympic Games are a place where people who don’t usually follow hockey grow a love for the game based in no more than rooting for one’s home country. With this the decision, the NHL is basically looking at this great opportunity and saying, “Nah, we’ll pass”. Completely idiotic if you ask me.
The Olympics will now be full over a bunch of wannabe NHL players. Personally, I’m not trying to have my favorite sport showcased to the world with a bunch of countries fielding their B and C teams. I will say that it used to be awesome when the Olympics were full of young, passionate college kids playing for the gold, but the Miracle on Ice was in 1980 for a reason. Times change, Mr. Bettman.
Now I can go on and on about how foolish this decision is by the NHL and how the Olympics will soon become one of the most bootleg international hockey tournaments around, but I’ll let the biggest faces of the NHL do the talking for me.
When commenting on the decision made by the NHL, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had a few things to get off his chest. “It just seems like it comes down to what they can get out of us,” Toews said. “It’s not about the long-term goals of our game and growing it.”
But wait. There’s more!
New NHL golden child Connor McDavid also got in on trashing the league’s decision when he stated, “It’s disappointing for all the young guys in the league. Eichel, Matthews, Ekblad…All these young guys who are trying to make their mark on hockey, they may not be able to get their chance to on the international stage. It’s a little bit upsetting.”
Yeah, not a good look NHL. The last thing you want is the best captain your sport has seen in the last 15 years, along with your most attractive young star, publically bashing the decision made on the premise of saving a couple bucks. Not to mention that you even have Russian players like Alexander Ovechkin saying they don’t care about the NHL’s decision and that they will go to South Korea regardless.
The NHL is now at a big turning point for the future of their league and it seems like they don’t know how to do anything but just completely mess everything up. Interest and viewership is starting to plummet, and now we see their own players starting to trash their decision making abilities. For God’s sake let’s just hope the NHL can finally come to their senses and figure it out for once.
As the NHL continues to make one terrible decision after another regarding the expansion of their league’s product, it’s times like these where vines like this become even more relevant than before.
All I have to say is that I can’t really disagree with this guy here.