(photo: AP via Peerless)
A name we Caps fans loath.
But this time, I don’t mind hearing it.
The Alex Ovetjkin blog posted an article on Crosby and Bill Guerin supporting what Ovechkin had to say about playing in the 2014 Olympic games in his native Russia, no matter the consequences brought on by the NHL.
Guerin said that the pros don’t care where the Olympics are being held; they all want to be there. Crosby had this to say:
“Russian or not Russia, I can understand [Ovechkin’s comments]. We’re talking about the Olympics here, celebrating the best athletes in the world. We like to think the NHL is the best league and brings the best players. Why wouldn’t you want the best there? We feel pretty strongly — me personally, and all the players do — that it could be an opportunity of a lifetime, especially for those guys from Russia. That only happens once in a while.”
I get a feeling that this is what we’d here from just about every player in the League.
While it’s not entirely clear as to whether or not Crosby would actually disobey the NHL if they were against letting the pros represent their country, it should be clear that League should be listening.
The two biggest stars in the NHL want to go participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics. If Ovi got Crosby to actually say he’d play in the Olympics no matter what, I’d think we’d see the pros playing in Sochi.
Personally, I think that NHLers should be allowed to play for their countries past the Vancouver games. I’ve read and heard both sides of the story, but I still think they should be able to go. The only other thing an athlete would want to win, aside from their sport’s championship, is an Olympic Gold medal.
There’s always the retort of, “I bet you wouldn’t feel that way if [insert player’s name] got hurt.” Actually, I would still feel the same. It would suck for any player, whether their the face of the franchise or what have you, to be hurt and not be able to finish the season. It might suck for fans who go to games to watch that player. It couldwould suck for the team when their best player is out. But if you really have a great team, they’d figure out how to cope and keep winning anyway. When you have a game changing player like Ovechkin, it would be hard go through half a season without his presence on the ice, but what if he sustained a lengthy injury in the NHL season? Wouldn’t it be the same context? It would be terrible to lose him, but you have to find a way to play without him.
From the business aspect, I don’t understand it as much (I’m not incredibly business savvy). I get that for two weeks you’re not making any money from games, but, if I’m not mistaken, there are still 82 games in the season. It’s not like games are being taken out of the season to make room for the Olympics.
We’re going to have to wait this one out for a while, but I’m guessing that if there’s a decision to not allow NHL players to participate in the Olympics, there are going to be some problems.