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cusimano_brothers

IIHF vs. NHL.

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I don't care if Bettman likes it or not, players are playing NHL games anyways and are under threat of getting injured. Fans would overwhelmingly agree they want to see their country's star players, fans of both the Olympics and NHL hockey. So Bettman can cram it up his ass, quit whining, and make a deal with the IIHF.

Edited by Shoreline

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MLB GM's are reluctant to have their players play in an international tournament during the PRESEASON, let alone stopping the regular season for one. There is a lot of money invested in these players and you can ruin a teams post season run with a major injury. Plus, what do you do with the guys who don't play in the Olympics? You can lose a lot in 17 days of no games.

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It confuses me why GM's accept a 2-week break proposal by burke to allow players to rest on a yearly basis (FOR the olympics and world cup), but it's too much of a break in the regular season to make it to the olympics.

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From the linked article:

"Bettman also told the convention that the benefit to the league was not always worth what they sacrifice." and

"Bettman explained the NHL's focus was not on money, but on their on-ice product."

Two things come to mind:

1) Bettman has already publicly hinted that the League may go to an 84-game schedule, doing away with two exhibition games and

2) Bettman's idea for the presentation of the League's on-ice product is in the "season opener" games, with four teams being part of the 2009-10 festivities.

Anyone know if a payment of monies is involved, or is it just an agreement among the four parties?

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From ctv olympics dot ca :

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.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Canadian Press at the start of the NHL's 92nd season, Bettman spoke at length about his views on having the world's top pro players compete at the Olympics.

"The benefits of going to the Olympics when you're in Salt Lake City or Vancouver, to name two cities, are way different than if you're in Japan, Italy or Russia,'' said Bettman.

The commissioner was a key figure in getting NHL players involved with the Games starting in 1998. However, the league's participation isn't guaranteed to continue beyond the Vancouver Olympics in February.

...

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This is going to come down to how many of the truly superstar players actually want to be part of the Olympics and their national team; I really doubt Ovechkin is the only one...

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This is going to come down to how many of the truly superstar players actually want to be part of the Olympics and their national team; I really doubt Ovechkin is the only one...

Add Malkin to the list.

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Yes, Bettman let's just forego any exposure of the game on the biggest sporting event in the history of the world, because of travel. But let's open the season in Europe...? Am I missing something?

Ah, but that's where he screwed up; the season didn't open in Europe this time.

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An 84 game schedule is a bad idea. I love hockey, but the season is already long and grinding. Adding two games is nothing but a money grab.

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1992-93 and 1993-93 were the only 84-game schedules played, being increased from an 80-game schedule. 1994-95 was supposed to another one, but the strike killed that. As a "concession" between the two sides, the League agreed to go to an 82-game schedule.

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Personally I see both sides of the story. Obviously every hockey fan wants to see all the best players in the world compete for each of their countries at the Olympics. But at the same time I understand Bettman's side of things. Fasel accused Bettman of looking out for his brand which is exactly what he SHOULD be doing. It does hurt the momentum of the season to have an olympic break and it does create an uneven playing field for teams with a lot of players participating in the olympics vs. teams with no participants. Also injuries are a concern etc etc.

Obviously, as a fan I would want to see everyone compete in the olympics but as proud as I am of my country to be absolutely honest I am a bigger fan of the Detroit Red Wings than I am of my country's hockey team. I know a lot of ppl may think that comment is ignorant but that's the truth. Fact is I am Canadian, from Toronto but grew up watching the Red Wings. In a lot of ways I would much rather the Wings win the Stanley Cup than team Canada win the gold medal.

If it were between having everyone compete and Canada winning the gold medal and no one competing and the Wings winning the SC then there is no question what I would prefer.

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Here we go; from ctv olympics dot ca :

International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel has an answer for Gary Bettman.

In response to the NHL commissioner's comments that 2010 might be the last time NHLers compete at an Olympics, Fasel told Canwest News Services that while he understands the league didn't cash in as expected from its participation in the Winter Games, the Olympics still provide the NHL with a global audience it isn't finding anywhere else.

"He's wrong," Fasel told Canwest on Tuesday. "He's completely wrong. If you want to bring hockey to new people and new sponsors, you have to use the huge stage of the Winter Olympics. For Torino, we had 14 billion TV viewers. When I see the numbers the NHL reaches on TV, you cannot compare.

"It's a great opportunity for the NHL brand. When David Stern decided to bring the NBA to Barcelona [for the 1992 Games] it was huge. Gary was thinking he can do the same thing and he had six, maybe seven very strong teams and a better tournament. Maybe that's what Gary doesn't like, when it's not North America that's winning it's not his product. But he's wrong. For me, he's wrong."

...

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"He's wrong," Fasel told Canwest on Tuesday. "He's completely wrong. If you want to bring hockey to new people and new sponsors, you have to use the huge stage of the Winter Olympics. For Torino, we had 14 billion TV viewers. When I see the numbers the NHL reaches on TV, you cannot compare.

"It's a great opportunity for the NHL brand. When David Stern decided to bring the NBA to Barcelona [for the 1992 Games] it was huge. Gary was thinking he can do the same thing and he had six, maybe seven very strong teams and a better tournament. Maybe that's what Gary doesn't like, when it's not North America that's winning it's not his product. But he's wrong. For me, he's wrong."

...

LOL @ Gary!!!! This seems to be yet another time where he's so completely wrong about the big picture, and finally someone in a position of pwer is calling him out on it.

Bettman's basically saying: "We can lose $60 million a year in Phoenix, but we don't want 14 million people watching all the best NHL players from around the world for two weeks."

The fact that the Olympics are the middle of the regular hockey season throws a spanner in the works, but the point is still well made by Farrrl.

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"He's wrong," Fasel told Canwest on Tuesday. "He's completely wrong. If you want to bring hockey to new people and new sponsors, you have to use the huge stage of the Winter Olympics. For Torino, we had 14 billion TV viewers. When I see the numbers the NHL reaches on TV, you cannot compare.

Of course you can't compare that...apparently everyone on the planet watched the Olympics...TWICE!

Seriously though, I wonder what the numbers are for just Olympic hockey. More specifically, North American viewers. I don't doubt they're better than the NHL, just wonder how much better.

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Why is Bettman still the commissioner? I can understand the ppl writing the checks for these players have a gripe in the short term if a player is injured but I'm sure something could be worked out to cover that. You just have to get the little troll's opinions out of the way first in order to get something fair for everyone put in place. Obviously, there are players that are going to the olympic tournament barring them being physically stopped or financially coerced one way or another, so something needs to be done because it's a dead serious issue.

I also like the part where the troll plays obvious favorites with the fact that he considers the olympics held in N.A. better as opposed to anywhere else- travel is just an excuse for his real problem of where a good percentage of talent that plays in his league has been coming from lately. He's trying to put the game out there in the US (failing@that) and get more kids out to the ice rinks, apparently he feels that the olympic tourney being held outside N.A. doesn't help get north american kids out to the rinks, so the international community must pay for his agenda (trying to downplay the internationalization of the game) and it makes him and his league look bad, again.

I just wonder when the almighty board of governors is going to realize this and be done with him, finally.

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I say, let Bettman have his way. If NHL players don't participate, then Team Russia led by OV, Malkin, Kovalchuk and I'm sure several other NHLers will sweep all before it and win the gold! And since every other country is in the same position, it would be their own fault, if they will not have had their best players.

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This guy has caught the fever; from ctv olympics dot ca:

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge is urging the NHL to commit its players to taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"It's not just important for the Olympics to have the NHL, it's important for the NHL to have their stars shine at the Olympic Games," Rogge said today, in a conference call with Canadian reporters from IOC headquarters in Switzerland.

"If you look at the audience of the final hockey game of the Olympic tournament, it matches the final of the Stanley Cup.

"So that is good promotion for hockey in North America."

...

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The main issue here is about there not being a transfer agreement with Russia. Russia says yes to one, and the NHL will say they will play.

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From Toronto Star :

...

In these Olympics, we're left to wonder whether any of the smaller Olympic hockey nations will make much noise and get in the grill of the tournament favourites like Belarus did by stunning Sweden in '02 and the Swiss did by shutting out Canada in Turin four years ago.

But none will win a medal. This is an event for the big boys.

But if the NHL pulls out, the flavour and competitive nature of the tournament will be enormously different in Sochi when it returns – correctly – to the larger international ice surface. With no NHLers, the U.S. will have to go back to using college kids, Canada's team will look like a Spengler Cup entrant again and the NHL will be handing over the tournament marquee to the KHL, which already will have 60 or more players in the Vancouver tournament.

Which league will look big-league then? How will the NHL gain by retreating into self-imposed Olympic exile while countries like Latvia and Germany suddenly find themselves able to compete with the top North American countries, home to the NHL?

...

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I'm kind of on the fence on this one, it helps expose the game i guess although I'm sure the increased ratings are just due to the worldwide broadcasts that the Olympics provide...I don't know if I am sold on the idea that there are that many people who just up and start following the NHL after the Olympics if they hadn't been previously...Also I think there is a small possibility that giving exposure to young American college kids could cause a few people to follow their careers all the way up through the ranks if they make a name for themselves for the tournament. This could lead to a growth in interest in NCAA hockey which would be a boon for the larger schools such as Penn State (among others) who are contemplating adding a D1 program...if all of this came to fruition it could certainly raise the NHL's profile among the casual American sports fan who now may be paying attention to their favorite college's newborn hockey programs and it's players careers through the ranks.

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I'm kind of on the fence on this one, it helps expose the game i guess although I'm sure the increased ratings are just due to the worldwide broadcasts that the Olympics provide...I don't know if I am sold on the idea that there are that many people who just up and start following the NHL after the Olympics if they hadn't been previously...Also I think there is a small possibility that giving exposure to young American college kids could cause a few people to follow their careers all the way up through the ranks if they make a name for themselves for the tournament. This could lead to a growth in interest in NCAA hockey which would be a boon for the larger schools such as Penn State (among others) who are contemplating adding a D1 program...if all of this came to fruition it could certainly raise the NHL's profile among the casual American sports fan who now may be paying attention to their favorite college's newborn hockey programs and it's players careers through the ranks.

Consider that these college kids would be playing against guys like Palffy, Jagr, Federov, Kozlov, Forsberg, etc etc. I highly doubt anyone is going to be enticed into watching hockey when the US and Canadian teams get massacred.. it will literally be a case of men vs boys. Canada's gold in 02 was the first one they had won since 1952, and you could expect similar results with the exclusion of NHLers.

You are right to question whether or not people pick up the game because of the Olympics... they may not, but it does factor in to one very important thing... It gives the NHL a chance to showcase it's talent to European hockey fans, which may be one of the league's only opportunities for real growth (hence why they are "inconveniencing" the schedule and risking player health to send teams to Europe at the beginning of seasons). I don't think the NHL will ever grow to be the top sport in the U.S., so an increase in merchandise sales/tv deals in Europe is really one of the best ways to grow league revenue.... and that door will be firmly shut if the Olympics become an annual KHL show.

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