I guess Team Canada won’t be defending its gold medal in Pyeongchang. The NHL won’t participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
For the first time since 1994, NHL players will not attend the Winter Olympics.
The league has released a statement saying it “considers the matter officially closed.”
The IOC confirmed to CBC Sports Monday that the NHL won’t be sending its players to Pyeongchang.
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Connor McDavid said “100 per cent” that NHL players should go. The Edmonton Oilers captain, who wasn’t even born the last time NHL players didn’t attend in 1994, said he couldn’t envision the Olympics without the world’s top players.
“I just feel like we’re misrepresenting our sport on a pretty huge scale and a pretty huge level,” Jonathan Toews, a long-time ace for Team Canada, added. “A lot of the talk has been it’s the players pushing for it, and it’s the players that are interested and want to go. I think the players do want to go, but I think it should be of interest to the players and the league. I think the NHL should be in the Olympics.”
It’s no understatement that most Canadian Olympic fans care first and foremost about the hockey, to the point where we’d happily sacrifice medals in every other sport if it meant winning the men’s and women’s hockey gold. The players want to go. The fans want them to go. The owners don’t want to lose money from having a three-week break, which is all well and fine. But how much will they lose from fans tuning out in disgust?
This decision comes as a huge slap in the face to every hockey fan everywhere. This is a travesty.