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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.

[ . . . ]

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.


NHL in Vegas?


Well, Gary Bettman has done it again: He just announced that Quebec City’s NHL expansion bid has been denied, but Las Vegas’s has been approved:

Bettman said the NHL board of governors unanimously accepted an expansion bid from Sin City on Wednesday, with the new team set to begin play in the 2017-18 season.

I have so many questions. Starting with:

1. Does anyone in Vegas other than the bookies actually know or care that hockey exists? Seriously, it’s a city in the desert which has zero hockey culture whatsoever. Who are they planning to sell tickets to, disgruntled tourists who lost big at slots?

2. How do you evenly divide 31 teams among 4 divisions? (Okay, not that 30 divided by 4 was much better, especially with 2 extra teams in the east. But still. 31 is an odd number that will create scheduling nightmares.)

3. What are the Vegas odds on the team being named the Las Vegas Nordiques?

4. How the hell is Gary Bettman still in charge of the NHL?


Hockey’s back, baby!


The lockout has dragged 113 days and I wasn’t holding out much hope for any kind of season, shortened or otherwise. But this morning, I woke up to fresh snow outside and a shiny new agreement-in-principle that could see the NHL returning as soon as next week: Depending on when a new CBA is reached, […]

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I miss hockey


There’s nothing more depressing than a pub in late October with no hockey on the big screen. Players, owners, settle this thing already. We need our hockey back.

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On Chara-gate


By now, everyone in Montreal, Beantown and everywhere in between knows about the ugly hit by Zdeno Chara that landed Max Pacioretty in the hospital with a possible career-ending fractured vertebra and concussion: It still hurts to re-watch. And not just because we all know the outcome. With the news that no discipline would be […]

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Things I’ve been thinking about


A few things that have been on my mind lately: 1. Idiots are their own worst PR nightmare. Let ’em talk long enough, they’ll shoot themselves in the foot. No need to do it for them. 2. Laziness is an addition, just like alcoholism. And it has enablers. Don’t be one. Next time someone asks […]

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Hey NHL R&D: Stop killing hockey!


The NHL research and development camp is testing a series of potential new rules, with the aim of deciding which ones – if any – should be rolled out during the regular season. Here’s my recommendation: None of them. With the possible exception of no-touch icing – which is long overdue – most of these new rules would […]

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New hockey blog


As the season kicks into gear, check out Illegal Curve, a new and very promising hockey blog with a very plugged-in list of contributors.

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Ducks win Stanley Cup


Ducks take it at home in 5. I’m disappointed for the Sens – this marks the third straight year that a Canadian team has made it to the finals and lost. And it means that *still* the Cup hasn’t come back home above the border since 1993, when my Habs took it. Sad, ain’t it? […]

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Hockey lives here


Montreal will be hosting the 2009 NHL all-star game. Anyone know where I can get my ticket?

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