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Thread: NHL Commisioner casts doubt on NHL's partipation with future Olympics

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    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Olympics NHL Commisioner casts doubt on NHL's partipation with future Olympics

    Gary Bettman likes the Olympic hockey tournament but the NHL commissioner isn't sure if it's worth halting the season when the Games are held outside of North America.

    The entire story

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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    If Bettman wants to can the Olympics and thinks the players will just go along with that, i think he's got to get head checked.

    That crap is just posturing. The PA isn't going to buy it.

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    IHF Member Alessandro Seren Rosso's Avatar
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    Alexander Ovechkin’s mother Tatyana is upset the National Hockey League hasn’t committed to releasing its players for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    How can [commissioner Gary] Bettman not let them play?” Tatyana, herself a member of two gold-medal winning Russian basketball teams at the Olympics, told the Washington Post. “Doesn’t he understand what Olympics are? Let him read books. Let him study history. They stopped wars in ancient Greece for the Olympics. Wars. And he can’t stop his league for two weeks? This is nonsense.”

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...y-bettman.aspx
    My articles at The Hockey Writers

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    Based on the responses from NHL players thus far, Bettman would be digging his grave by making this move. Almost all the international players are against it and last time I checked, the Canadian and American players idolize the Olympics as well. Its second only to the Stanley Cup as a goal for young hockey players. And in many cases its even first

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
    Alexander Ovechkin’s mother Tatyana is upset the National Hockey League hasn’t committed to releasing its players for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    How can [commissioner Gary] Bettman not let them play?” Tatyana, herself a member of two gold-medal winning Russian basketball teams at the Olympics, told the Washington Post. “Doesn’t he understand what Olympics are? Let him read books. Let him study history. They stopped wars in ancient Greece for the Olympics. Wars. And he can’t stop his league for two weeks? This is nonsense.”

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...y-bettman.aspx
    no one ever said the NHL (owners and Bettman) think in a progressive manner. I am not at all surprised. I suspect this will a major negotiating issue at the next collective bargainimg agreement. Maybe another player lockout?

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    IHF Staff Piotrek's Avatar
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    I wouldn't see any lockout or anything like that... It could be better for everybody NHL sign an agreement with IOC and release these players for Olympics. I doubt, that Olympic Games in Sochi could be abandoned by any Russian player, because playing at OG at home will be theirs only chance during their's career. If NHL will lost all the best Russians even for one season it could be very bad for league. And two weeks for OG isn't a long time for NHL, so they should agree.

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    Yzerman wants NHL participation (in 2014 Olympics)

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hoc...07221-sun.html

    How much better would life be if Steve Y was NHL commissioner?

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubanpuckstopper View Post
    Yzerman wants NHL participation (in 2014 Olympics)

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hoc...07221-sun.html

    How much better would life be if Steve Y was NHL commissioner?
    Yeah, we would have someone who really understood hockey because he played it! Not like Bettman, who is a transfer from the NBA.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The NHL is shooting itself in the foot if it doesn't release the players, because the Russian players will simply leave to play whether the NHL likes it or not, and I suspect several players from other countries would choose to do the same - perhaps even from the USA and Canada, if they see the Russians doing it en masse.

    And what will the owners do? Suspend the world's 50 or 100 best players? That would be suicide for the NHL.....the North American public will not accept an NHL without the majority of the world's best players.

    I think the NHL has no real choice here, and that it will be, in essence, forced to let these guys go, or risk them simply leaving over its objections.

    Yzerman would be a good choice for commissioner. Personally, I would vote for John Davidson to become commissioner.

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    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    The NHL is shooting itself in the foot if it doesn't release the players, because the Russian players will simply leave to play whether the NHL likes it or not, and I suspect several players from other countries would choose to do the same - perhaps even from the USA and Canada, if they see the Russians doing it en masse.

    Yzerman would be a good choice for commissioner. Personally, I would vote for John Davidson to become commissioner.
    I think the NHLPA has more of a thing against this sort of thing than the NHL. The PA seems to be making bigger noise than the NHL in regard to this. Seeming as how insignificant the PA operates these days with all the internal fighting, I don't think the NHL wants to burn any more bridges at this point with their own problems and recent history with the PA.

    The PA are the biggest joke in hockey right now. I hope the players stand up for what they believe in and sock it to them. I support this Soviet Uprising.

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    Bettman's job is dependent on the owners of all 30 NHL teams. Lets face the facts, love him or hate him, Bettman is an extremely bright individual. He is most likely voicing the NHL ownership stance.

    The other side of the coin is that Bettman is trying to stick it to Medvedev over the lack of a transfer agreement between the NHL & the KHL.

    While the NHL seems to be poorly run as of late, can we really lay all the blame at Bettman and Daly's feet? They both have bosses. The ownership is where the major problem is here, and all the privilege and money in the world will not stop an athlete's childhood dreams from becoming reality. This will be an interesting story as it unfolds.....

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    IHF Member Snype's Avatar
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    so lets just say nhl players aren't aloud to go in 2014. what is canada going to send AHLers, CHL and canadians from europe i guess it would be kinda of intresting to see the teams

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    IHF Member takharov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubanpuckstopper View Post
    Yzerman wants NHL participation (in 2014 Olympics)

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hoc...07221-sun.html

    How much better would life be if Steve Y was NHL commissioner?
    Agreed. Bettman does not seem to realize that there is a world outside of the NHL in which the Olympiads are held in higher esteem certainly by Europeans.

    And following the sucess of Torino and Salt Lake City the players revel in the atmsphere, the crowds and the chance to mingle with other world class athletes and of course representing their nation.

    He's on to a hiding (hopefully).

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    Quote Originally Posted by takharov View Post
    Agreed. Bettman does not seem to realize that there is a world outside of the NHL in which the Olympiads are held in higher esteem certainly by Europeans
    Oh, I'm sure he realizes all that just fine.

    Unfortunately his job description requires him to not care about that stuff and to PRETEND like the NHL is the only thing that exists in the hockey world.

    the NHL and the Olympics are both businesses and they both have their own interests in mind first. Although I think we will see that the Olympics have much more power than the NHL. But I think that's pretty obvious.

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    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    The only Bettman has been particularly good at is being protectionist about American hockey on a National and Club level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
    Alexander Ovechkin’s mother Tatyana is upset the National Hockey League hasn’t committed to releasing its players for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    How can [commissioner Gary] Bettman not let them play?” Tatyana, herself a member of two gold-medal winning Russian basketball teams at the Olympics, told the Washington Post. “Doesn’t he understand what Olympics are? Let him read books. Let him study history. They stopped wars in ancient Greece for the Olympics. Wars. And he can’t stop his league for two weeks? This is nonsense.”

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...y-bettman.aspx
    We all know the Russian players will just go regardless of what bozo Bettman says and other players from other countries will probably follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubanpuckstopper View Post
    Yzerman wants NHL participation (in 2014 Olympics)

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hoc...07221-sun.html

    How much better would life be if Steve Y was NHL commissioner?
    Isn't Stevie Y. the general manager of Team Canada right now for the current Olympics?

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    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    VANCOUVER -- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman insists there's still plenty of time for an agreement to be reached on further Olympic participation and says his sole focus now is on the tournament currently underway in Vancouver.
    They traded some verbal jabs today, the most pointed of which came when Fasel suggested that Bettman's only interest in the Games is business.
    http://www.ctvolympics.ca/hockey/new...decision+sochi

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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Yeah... if the NHL does release its players with the best interest of hockey in mind, as Bettman claims, then what's the issue with saying "yes, we'll be in Sochi"?

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.iihf.com/channels10/olymp...html?tx_ttnews[backPid]=3471&cHash=deb54691d4

    The difficulties and challenges of the NHL and IIHF, merging the interests of the world’s best league and the international game, were most succinctly evident in one light exchange. In trying to explain the problems of Sochi, Fasel reflected and said: “The trouble is about two such different cultures. Gary is so American – and the Russians are so Russian.” To which Bettman offered: “And, you, René, are so Switzerland.”
    Way to go Bettman... way to keep the Bushisms alive. What a failure.

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    IHF Member RiaRiaHungaria's Avatar
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    “We like that tournament because we have control" quoth Bettman.

    And that says it all, really, doesn't it.

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    NHL is only about making more money for themselves and nothing else. It has always been that way, and they want the world to think real hockey doesn't exist outside of the NHL. Olympics are the single best opportunity to promote sport globaly, everybody understands this, but that is not NHL or Bettman's priority, it is simply to make more money for them and keep eyes and attention on NHL and away from international hockey.

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    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubanpuckstopper View Post
    Yzerman wants NHL participation (in 2014 Olympics)

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hoc...07221-sun.html

    How much better would life be if Steve Y was NHL commissioner?
    It does not matter who the NHL commissioner is. It could be Yzerman, you or I or anyone else who personally advocates NHL participation in the Olympics. However the job description of the "Commissioner" is to report to the leagues 30 owners and do what these 30 owners direct him or her to do. You or I or anyone in this thread would have do the same if we wanted to keep that job. Point: don't blame the messenger.

    Also, remember this, Bettman was the one who originally convinced the league owners in the 1990's to try Olympic participation. His plan was to have the NHLers in Lillehammar for the 1994 games but he was hired less than 1 year prior to that and apparently did not have time to convince the owners and negotiate with the IIHF/IOC. Prior to that, NHL President John Ziegler stated numerous times that the NHL would be willing to shut down for the 1988 Calgary Olympics if someone (ie, either of or a combination of the IOC, and the American and Canadian TV rights holders of the time) would pay the league $1 million per team (21 teams then) to shut down. There were obviously no takers....

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    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Back to 2014.

    All the League is doing now is simple posturing.

    They know the NHLPA wants to go. The NHL will use this to negotiate concessions from the PA during the next round of Collective Bargaining talks (eg, perhaps a higher UFA age, or increased RFA restrictions etc)

    They know that the IIHF/IOC wants them there. Again, the NHL wants to try and control the tournament in certain aspects as well, as well as have better ways to tie in the tournament with their stars to their product (ie, the league itself), use of the Olympic logo, being able to show highlights on NHL.com etc.)

    With this in mind, the NHL, from a business point, would be foolish to simply say "Let's go in 2014!" at this current time.

    All in all, NHL knows it probably should go.

    The NHL has the product, and the Olympics have the World Platform to promote the sport.

    Hopefully they will/can come to some compromise.

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    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    From the other side...

    Finally, for everyone who advocates continued participation, there are many, including media members who think being in the Olympics does not help the NHL, here are 2 examples:

    http://www.cbssports.com/columns/sto...none-to-be-had "Olympic thrills major coup for NHL? Not so much"
    In short, the NHL loaned its players to a cause that entertained spectacularly but will offer very little in actual return, save some expensive advertising......

    But in an absolute, narrow-minded, selfish, money-based sense, the anti-Olympic owners are right, because the NHL will not get any of the new fans that the Canada-U.S. game lured. They came to root for country and grand spectacle, with a side of something-cool-is-going-to-happen-because-all-my-friends-say-so.

    And in all honesty, Nashville and Calgary battling for the eighth playoff spot isn't going to replicate it. The trade deadline won't replicate it. And the Stanley Cup Finals won't replicate it either.

    These seem self-evident to any rational thinker, but still the question was asked -- what can this do for the NHL? And the answer is nothing because more seats will not be sold, more sets will not be tuned in, and more coverage will not be afforded it. The Olympics work the same way as the World Cup in soccer -- it is its own entity, a gathering of the very best the sport has to offer, and because there is no equivalent, there is no equivalent benefit. And we know this because hockey didn't explode in the 1980s after the Miracle On Ice. And we know this because Major League Soccer has taken far less hold than the foreign league broadcasts that are now so easily found. It found its niche, it held its niche, but it hasn't grown its niche...
    And:
    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/story/12994727
    Attention-hungry NHL hopes for Olympic carryover
    ....There are few tangible benefits that have appeared previously from closing business during a prime time; there is a growing sense around the league that the "good-for-the-game" investment isn't justified by the return.....

    "As thrilled as we were, the fact of the matter is when you get seduced by the two weeks of Olympic competition, you can't forget it has an impact on our season and how our clubs operate," Bettman said Monday on the NHL Network. "It will probably to some extent impact the stretch and the playoffs; you have to balance whether or not it's worth it."

    The league has certainly jumped through hoops to take part in the past four Olympic Games. It has condensed its schedules, risked injuries and shut down so the players can represent their countries, although the effort has been motivated less by altruism than by promoting the best of its product on the world's biggest stage. Even so, going to those kinds of lengths and assuming so much risk deserves some kind of payback, and none really came after Nagano, Torino or even Salt Lake. But this time the NHL may finally get a reward thanks to clean-cut poster boy Sidney Crosby winning the gold medal for Canada in heroic fashion after an emotionally charged game....
    These are written from the perspective of trying to gain an bigger foothold in the American Sports landscape, which is the NHL's primary business goal.

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    IHF Member Alessandro Seren Rosso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post

    With this in mind, the NHL, from a business point, would be foolish to simply say "Let's go in 2014!" at this current time.
    I simply can't agree. There are things that are beyond business, beyond market. Why the whole world says "Let's go in 2014!" and the NHL can't? Frankly speaking, this thing is disgusting.
    My articles at The Hockey Writers

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    IHF Member RiaRiaHungaria's Avatar
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    I don't really think it matters what the NHL decides.

    The players who want to go will go. If the NHL suspends or punishes them, in the end I think they'll hurt themselves more than the players.

    If the KHL is smart, they could then pounce on it: "See? We let our players go. You can come here, make similar money, and know that you can play for your country, too."

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    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    Aftonbladet has an article on the participation of NHL-players in the upcoming Olympics.

    There is still no deal and Gary Bettman is quoted as saying "Vi trodde att förhandlingarna att skulle vara avklarade vid det här laget, men det är de inte. Bland annat diskuterar vi fortfarande frågor kring login för våra spelare och deras familjer och klubbarnas representanter." ("We thought that negotiations would be done by now, but they're not. Among other things we are still discussing questions about accommodation for our players and their families and the club representaties." - my translation)

    He goes on to say that the World Cup being planned for every other year will affect NHL player's participation in IHWC. He foresees that a in the years the World Cup is played and also possibly the Olympics, a change in the current deal between NHL and IIHF must come about.

    Isn't NHL biting the hand that feeds them when they still have not accepted participation in the Olympics, when that is what both players and fans want?
    Cum bibam cervisiam gaudeo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennison View Post

    He goes on to say that the World Cup being planned for every other year will affect NHL player's participation in IHWC. He foresees that a in the years the World Cup is played and also possibly the Olympics, a change in the current deal between NHL and IIHF must come about.

    Isn't NHL biting the hand that feeds them when they still have not accepted participation in the Olympics, when that is what both players and fans want?
    As long as the NHL continues to participate in the Olympics (and the Worlds) I see
    no reason to even bother having a World Cup.
    The first World Cup was held in 1996, five years after the last Canada Cup in 1991.
    The second and most recent WC was held in 2004 (on the eve of the season wiped out
    by the lockout) eight years after the first and there hasn't been one since...going on 9 years now.
    The whole raison d'etre for the Canada Cup/World Cup late summer tournaments was because it was
    the only opportunity for a true best against best tournament because of the IIHF rules at the time
    and because the protracted NHL season did not allow all its best players to play at the WHC.
    Since Nagano, all of that has changed.
    The World Cup has been held so infrequently, people I believe have forgotten it exists
    and really, having it AND the Olympics would be redundant.

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    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    I agree, I much prefer IHWC and Olympics to World Cup.
    Cum bibam cervisiam gaudeo.

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    IHF Member vorky's Avatar
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    That is an easy deal among NHL and KHL

    1) NHL will get its Word Cup (every penny is good) in february
    2) KHL will get IHWC in february
    3) Olympics will stay in february
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    I thought Bill Daly made some very interesting comments about an "international schedule" moving forward. The more "best on best" the better in my opinion. Olympics in 2014 2018 2022. World Cup in 2016 2020 2024. World Championships/Euro Championships and NA (Canada v US best of 5 or 7) 2015 2017 2019 2021, etc...

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    And now Sweden has announced 35 players (including NHLers) for preliminary Olympic evaluation camp in Stockholm in August.

    http://swehockey.se/Startsidesnyhete...stiiStockholm/

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I actually like the World Cup.

    However, I would NOT want it to replace the IIHF Worlds, and I would NOT want the IIHF Worlds to be played only once every two years.

    The NHL is simply ignoring every hockey nation outside of the top eight, which is typically arrogant and, in my opinion, counterproductive and harmful to the sport at large.

    As for NHL players, they should, en masse, simply go to the Olympics if selected, regardless of what the NHL has decided, consequences be damned.

    If the world's top 50-100 players all left at once for the Olympics, and put their collective middle finger up to the NHL, do you really think the NHL would dare suspend them? I don't. The whole concept of the NHL as the world's top league would collapse, and it would be nighmarish public relations-wise for the league. The NHL knows it, and if the players are smart, they know it too. All they need to do is band together and act as one, and they will win this battle.

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    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    I am optimistic in this case:

    NHL can not renounce of world wide interest in media and public
    Players, public in NA, majority of owners are in favour
    Pressure from NHLPA is already there
    consequences of players deflection is to high(specially Russians) could draw many others.

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    Agree completely with the above statements except for the World Championships. I don't have a problem with them being replaced at least every other year with a Euro Championships and then keeping the lower level World Championships intact to help the developing nations. This is from a realism perspective. From an idealistic perspective I want all the best on best (and yes I consider the WCs best on best) tournaments I can get but it seems a tall order in WCup/Olympic years.

    For now it's all speculation for speculation's sake. But I would love an actual international calendar that all the major leagues agreed to. Wouldn't have a problem with NHL teams taking a break twice, even three times, for a week or two.

    Just my two cents.

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    However, I would NOT want it to replace the IIHF Worlds, and I would NOT want the IIHF Worlds to be played only once every two years.

    The NHL is simply ignoring every hockey nation outside of the top eight, which is typically arrogant and, in my opinion, counterproductive and harmful to the sport at large.
    Damn right!

    Lest the NHL forget that one of its top stars in one of its largest markets isn't from a top-10 nation (Hello, Mr. Kopitar).
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

    I'm the hole formerly known as KazakhEagles

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    You could put Thomas Vanek in that category as well.

  38. #38
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    NHL

    All other sports looks to expand their markets. FIFA is staging a World Cup in Qatar, FIBA had a World Basketball Championships in Japan. Only the NHL would look at South Korea and the Asian market and want to pull up their socks and go home. Historically, both at the NHL and IIHF levels have poorly marketed the game on a global scale.

    Here is one owner, Ed Snider of the Philadelphia's Flyers take on Olympic participation. No need for a spoiler alert: He don't like it: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-pu...0557--nhl.html

    Even writers and bloggers are looking that what they think is inevitable, no NHL'ers in Korea.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-pu...3184--nhl.html
    There is no such thing as a "Bad Hockey Market"
    There are, however, several markets with "Bad Hockey"

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  39. #39
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    NHL VP Bill Daly chimes in, stating that the NHL & NHLPA will make a decision within 6 months on participating in the 2018 Olympics in North Korea.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...ticle16796972/

    For years now, the NHL has wanted to revive the World Cup of hockey, on the grounds that if the players wanted a best-on-best competition, it should occur under the NHL’s business umbrella. The NHL and the players association didn’t formalize its participation agreement for the 2014 Olympics until last summer, barely eight months before the event took place. Ultimately, the league received concessions from the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation on issues ranging from insurance and transportation to media rights and access.

    The new agreement gives the NHL a greater overall presence at these Games. For example, they are able to show highlights on the NHL Network, which is doing a studio show live from Sochi. According to Daly, success will be measured two ways – if it is “a really good competitive tournament – and no injuries...
    The NHL does want to have a consistent International Calendar. However, the World Cup of Hockey, as everyone notes here does not offer the world stage that the Olympics gives the sport. There are 2 options when in the calendar year it could be held
    • The owners would want to hold it in late Aug/early Sept (ie, before NHL training camps) and this conflicts with Baseball's playoff drives and (more importantly) the start of the NFL season. These 2 factors will severely limit the casual US fan's interest.
    • The other option is to hold it during a break in the NHL season in February. This would be during a sports lull in the US between the NFL's Super Bowl and NCAA's March Madness. But this would again entail having a break in the season.

    The first option is more likely. However, both options as far as I know do not coincide with the IIHF's international breaks.
    Also, how many teams would participate. With the increased talent coming from different countries they can't limit it to simply 8 nations.

    Here Mr Daly attempts to diminish Asia as a market the hockey world could develop, which in my mind is short-sighted.
    ...Although the IIHF sees Asia as the next big market for growing the game internationally, Daly wasn’t sure if going to South Korea in 2018 would necessarily help market the NHL there on a long-term basis. “You’re never going to ignore the Asian market,” said Daly, “it’s very important. But I also don’t view it as a realistic short-term objective to make an impact in the Asian market. It’s more of a long-term objective for the sport generally.”

    In 1998, the NHL’s first Olympic involvement took them to Nagano, Japan, and they followed up with NHL regular-season games there for two years, but found no significant spike in interest. “We’re a different company today than we were in 1998, a different stage in our evolution and development,” said Daly. “It has a much higher profile. As a business, we’re more successful. We’re much more visible on the world stage. We’re much more of a media company and less of a licensee of rights. I think that’s a factor when you consider whether the Olympics make sense for you going forward.”...
    This could be a negotiation ploy. And remember neither Bettman and Daly are expressing their personal opinions. They are there to represent collectively the NHL Owners.
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  40. #40
    IHF Member Nameless one's Avatar
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    Welcome in the "Same s**t every 4 years" thread. None other sport is ruled by just ONE league. That's the difference. All other hockey leagues are also interrupted by this tournament but nobody else screams about it. Well maybe because they actually made the schedule according to the Olympics, so there is league->Olympics->Playoffs? But hey! Who am I to teach them about this? I understand the point of view of owners to some degree - they worry about their investment (health of players). But I can't imagine better propagation of hockey! Who will watch World Cup? Hockey fans... Who watches Winter Olympics? Well, many, many more ppl.
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?
    Better now?

  41. #41
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post
    NHL VP Bill Daly chimes in, stating that the NHL & NHLPA will make a decision within 6 months on participating in the 2018 Olympics in North Korea.
    Praise be with the Dear Leader! Although that would assuredly lead to the NHL not going.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless one
    Who will watch World Cup? Hockey fans... Who watches Winter Olympics? Well, many, many more ppl.
    Which the NHL doesn't care about grass roots hockey, it doesn't develop its own players like other leagues do, but where else is their next generation of investments, er players, going to come from? They need exposure to the sport and saying "the Olympics" will get people to watch a sport under the pretense of jingoism and nationalism more than "some hockey tournament" which as Nameless one points out, will only attract the hockey fans.
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

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  42. #42
    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    From AP:

    International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel says he will do everything he can to persuade the NHL and its players to participate in the 2018 Olympics.

    Ultimately, though, he acknowledges it will be up to them.

    Fasel told The Associated Press on Tuesday he's looking forward to meeting with league and union officials soon.

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is scheduled to arrive in Russia next week to witness what might be the last Olympics with NHL players.

    The league and players' association haven't committed to going to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

    "I'm going to work hard and do the best I can to get the NHL and NHL players in Pyeongchang,'' Fasel said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I will do everything I can -- seven days a week -- until a decision is made.

    "But ultimately, that decision will be made by them.''

    By "them,'' of course, he means NHL owners and its players.

    Fasel says there's no chance hockey could be moved to the Summer Games -- to avoid interrupting NHL seasons -- and he's not in favor of a World Cup of Hockey replacing best-on-best hockey at the Olympics.

  43. #43
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    CBC's Elliotte Friedmen also suggests that the NHL & NHLPA will wait to make a decicion on 2018. That this is Donald Fehr's negotiation tactic to wait for last minute concessions. He also notes that there is a shift in the thinking of North American players on how important the Olympics are. Here is a snippet from this week's Olympic themed "30 thoughts":
    http://olympics.cbc.ca/blogs/author/...y-success.html

    21. One thing you really notice here is how excited the NHL players are. You go from the dog days of the season to competing for an Olympic Gold; several of them look totally rejuvenated. The knock on European players used to be that they cared more about the Olympics or the World Championships than the Stanley Cup, but that’s not the case anymore. Remember when European players were ripped because they cared more about the Worlds or the Olympics? Well, there’s been a huge shift in the North American players’ attitudes. It’s not the Stanley Cup, but it’s extremely special.

    22. Ed Snider is nothing if not consistent. After the 2006 event, we did a piece for HNIC on the future of the Olympic hockey competition. He agreed to be interviewed on-camera and was quite clear he didn’t want it to continue after Vancouver. Steve Yzerman passionately argued in defence of participation earlier this week. The players want to be here. I’m not as convinced as others there will be no NHL involvement in South Korea.

    23. Why? It benefits the NHL to create doubt in the IOC’s and IIHF’s mind. When negotiations were ongoing for Sochi, several sources said there was no way those two entities would pick up travel and/or insurance costs. “They don’t do it for basketball, why would they do it for hockey?” was the common statement. Well, it happened. If you get someone to bend once, you’re convinced you can do it again. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr (assuming he is still around then) will wait, wait, wait as is his regular strategy to see what the other side is willing to give up when decisions must be made
    . Let’s see where this goes.
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  44. #44
    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    A IIHF-NHL-NHLPA press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 11.00 (Sochi time). I'll attend. I guess there will be an official statement about agreement for next Olympics

  45. #45
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davide View Post
    A IIHF-NHL-NHLPA press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 11.00 (Sochi time). I'll attend. I guess there will be an official statement about agreement for next Olympics
    As expected, nothing to report at this presser:

    From: @wyshynski
    • Bettman on NHL in South Korea: “It’s nothing that’s been discussed. It’s nothing that will be discussed while we’re here in Sochi.”
    • Bettman: “None of this moves forward at all if the players don’t want to play.” (Well, Gary, that ALL want to play in OLY)
    • Fehr said debates about Olympic host cities' inequities for NHL participation is “bar room talk."


    From: @FriedgeHNIC
    • Bettman avoids question on NHL's future participation in Olympics
    • Says he will no discuss it here...but says if players don't want to go, they won't force them
    • Of course, players have made it very clear they want to go...have had a great time here
    • Fehr says premature to discuss it...there is a review process NHLPA will go through first
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  46. #46
    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    From Fasel/Bettman press conference: http://eurohockey.com/article/3214-f...ut-future.html

  47. #47
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    One of the arguments the NHL owners will use against Olympic participation is that the league does not see any post-Olympic ratings spike for it's NHL games.
    NHL ratings bump from Sochi hockey unlikely, from the Sports Business Daily.

    ...With the NHL scheduled to resume its season this week, executives close to the sport are monitoring whether an Olympic halo effect will draw more interest to the league. But based on a review of TV ratings from past years, analysts say the NHL should not expect much of an Olympic bounce — a situation that could reinforce the question about whether the league will allow its players to participate in future Olympic Games.

    “An NHL ratings bump from the Olympics has never happened before,” said Horizon Media research director Brad Adgate. “They have two different allegiances. The Olympics is event programming: a live sporting event that’s on a global stage with national pride at stake. The NHL hasn’t reached that level yet.”
    Four years ago, the U.S.-Canada gold-medal hockey game from Vancouver posted huge television numbers: a 15.3 rating and 27.6 million viewers for its Sunday afternoon broadcast on NBC. Those levels were on par with NFL playoff games from the previous month.

    But NHL games on NBC and NBCSN, which was then called Versus, registered only a small subsequent lift — immediately and years later — from those games. The year before the 2010 Olympics, NHL games on NBC during March and April averaged a 0.7 rating; in the months after the Vancouver Games (in March and April 2010) they averaged a 0.8 rating. NBCSN posted similar numbers: In March and April of 2009, NHL games averaged a 0.1 rating; in March and April of 2010, they averaged a 0.2. Adgate described those ratings increases as relatively insignificant, and some in the ad buying community expected the bump to be much higher at that time after such a popular gold-medal game...
    ESPN's and TSN's Pierre LeBrun also spoke to NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr trying to get information about future international events:
    Olympics future hazy for Fehr - NHLPA executive director will take direction from the players' decision
    Fehr does not say much here, other than that the PA and the NHL will come to an agreement with a consistent International schedule going forward. The World Cup will be rising from the dead. Whether it will be World Cup alone (which I hope not) or a combination of World Cup/Olympics we will find out in the years ahead.
    LeBrun: OK, but what can you do as the NHLPA if the owners unilaterally pull out of the Olympics, which is technically their right?

    Fehr: I choose to believe that there's going to be, eventually, an agreement with the NHL that covers all aspects of international play or an ongoing series of agreements. The reason I don't answer hypotheticals is because there are always necessary-implied assumptions in the hypotheticals, which more often than not, are not the decisions you have to make. So, I just don't want to get into that. We'll deal with it as it goes along on an ongoing basis. We intend to approach it in good faith. I fully expect the NHL to approach it in good faith, and we'll see our way through all these things. But it's too soon to talk about how or when or in what circumstances. Those things will be done later.

    LeBrun: Clearly it appears the Olympic question can't be separated from the other international discussions such as the return of the World Cup, etc.

    Fehr: Sure. But look, real simple point: In most big negotiations in sports, it's pretty clear there's a bunch of people that believe one thing, and there's a bunch of people that believe another thing, otherwise the negotiation would be over. You'd have an agreement. Often as not, what you end up with isn't the expressions of necessity that the people you hear about talk about. You reach accommodations. All I'm going to say about it is that this yet has to be discussed, has to be worked through, in connection with a lot of other events. We certainly take the NHL owners' views into account, and I'm certain they will take players' views into account. I don't think I'll be surprised if we can't work our way through this. Which is not to suggest what the result is going to be. I want to make that clear: I'm not suggesting that. I'm not saying except that we'll talk with the players, we'll digest it, we'll figure out what they want. Then we'll talk to the owners and run through the process.
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