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cusimano_brothers

IIHF vs. NHL.

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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.

I see where you are coming from but I just don't seeing it as being as bad as you make it out to be. You point out that Canada went 50 years between gold medals, but during that same 50 year period the U.S. won 2 gold medals and 4 silver medals while Canada took home 3 silver and 2 bronze so it's not like the 2 North American teams were getting blown out of the water, on the contrary they were actually quite competitive. Also the U.S.S.R. who won 7 golds, a silver and a bronze during the 50 year span has obviously disbanded and splintered into many countries thus eliminating the threat of such a "super country" being in the tournament. Not to mention the fact that the players who lived in what used to be the old Soviet Union are now allowed to enter the NHL with no iron curtain holding them back and the cream of the crop do...likewise is true with Sweden, Finland,etc. I mean the KHL is there but aside from the washed up former stars like Jagr and the occasional NHL transfer like Hudler, it is nothing more than a glorified AHL....I'm not saying Canada and the U.S. would be medal game favorites every Olympics but I do think you may be overestimating the non-NHL talent remaining that would be eligible "across the pond"

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Guest zackmorris   
Guest zackmorris

So, let me get this straight...

-Fans want to see players go

-Players want to go

-Other countries want us to go

-It's great worldwide exposure for hockey

-It's intensely competitive and exciting

-It gives many players a well needed rest

-Lets just as many injuries heal as occur I'd bet

So is anyone really surprised with Bettman right now?

Opportunities, unbeknownst to him, bite that man in the ass every day and he just misses them.

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And yet another thread goes by with things people don't like being blamed as "Bettman's opinions" rather than Bettman representing the will of the NHL's BoG, which is what the real deal is.

So many ignorant asses. How come none of you realize that Bettman is little more than a figurehead, who occasionally serves as a mediator between the Board members and his main job is to represent the interests of the League. Commissioner is not the same as President; league President, which came before Bettman, had the power you think Bettman has. The Commissioner's position does not have nearly that kind of power because the Board felt that the President was too powerful.

Bettman's primary duties are to serve as a negotiator for the league, representing league positions. He cannot actually agree or disagree to a deal with the NHLPA or another organization; he can merely negotiate concessions for a deal and make recommendations to the BoG regarding a proposal. Part of the reason he was able to push back with such force against the NHLPA in 2004 is that the BoG voted to give Bettman the power to veto any deal the players proposed with the backing of just eight owners, or 26.7%. Ultimately this gave Bettman the ability to push forward the owners' agenda with strength, but only due to BoG solidarity.

Look for negotiations involving the NHL, KHL, and IIHF between now and 2014 because that is likely what it will take for the NHL to show up in Sochi. If it doesn't happen, the NHL is not there in 2014, and then comes back in 2018.

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I see where you are coming from but I just don't seeing it as being as bad as you make it out to be. You point out that Canada went 50 years between gold medals, but during that same 50 year period the U.S. won 2 gold medals and 4 silver medals while Canada took home 3 silver and 2 bronze so it's not like the 2 North American teams were getting blown out of the water, on the contrary they were actually quite competitive. Also the U.S.S.R. who won 7 golds, a silver and a bronze during the 50 year span has obviously disbanded and splintered into many countries thus eliminating the threat of such a "super country" being in the tournament. Not to mention the fact that the players who lived in what used to be the old Soviet Union are now allowed to enter the NHL with no iron curtain holding them back and the cream of the crop do...likewise is true with Sweden, Finland,etc. I mean the KHL is there but aside from the washed up former stars like Jagr and the occasional NHL transfer like Hudler, it is nothing more than a glorified AHL....I'm not saying Canada and the U.S. would be medal game favorites every Olympics but I do think you may be overestimating the non-NHL talent remaining that would be eligible "across the pond"

You also can't ignore some key facts. If the NHL stops sending players to the Olympics, it's not going to be the same as it used to be where Canada and the US were at a disadvantage. Back then (pre-90s), Canada's and the US's best players were in the NHL, the same could not be said about the rest of the world. In fact, you woudl be hard pressed to even find palyers in the NHL that were not Canadian or American. Today, the NHL is home to the best hockey players in the world, not just Canada and the US, generally speaking. So, if the NHL stopped sending players, Russia, Sweden, etc. would have weaker teams as well.

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And yet another thread goes by with things people don't like being blamed as "Bettman's opinions" rather than Bettman representing the will of the NHL's BoG, which is what the real deal is.

So many ignorant asses. How come none of you realize that Bettman is little more than a figurehead, who occasionally serves as a mediator between the Board members and his main job is to represent the interests of the League. Commissioner is not the same as President; league President, which came before Bettman, had the power you think Bettman has. The Commissioner's position does not have nearly that kind of power because the Board felt that the President was too powerful.

Bettman's primary duties are to serve as a negotiator for the league, representing league positions. He cannot actually agree or disagree to a deal with the NHLPA or another organization; he can merely negotiate concessions for a deal and make recommendations to the BoG regarding a proposal. Part of the reason he was able to push back with such force against the NHLPA in 2004 is that the BoG voted to give Bettman the power to veto any deal the players proposed with the backing of just eight owners, or 26.7%. Ultimately this gave Bettman the ability to push forward the owners' agenda with strength, but only due to BoG solidarity.

Look for negotiations involving the NHL, KHL, and IIHF between now and 2014 because that is likely what it will take for the NHL to show up in Sochi. If it doesn't happen, the NHL is not there in 2014, and then comes back in 2018.

It's about time somebody brought up this point, so thank you for the post.....some of these knuckleheads act like Bettman gets to run the NHL like he owns it....it's either ignorance of the way things really are or just general stupidity....It's just like all those folks who say last year's Cup Finals were moved up 4 or 5 days by Bettman to "help out" Pittsburgh..wake up and read a newspaper people, that was NBC's decision because they didn't want the Finals to interfere with "sweeps week" because the NHL isn't a ratings darling and that's the whole point of sweeps week.

Edited by StevieY'sguy

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And yet another thread goes by with things people don't like being blamed as "Bettman's opinions" rather than Bettman representing the will of the NHL's BoG, which is what the real deal is.

So many ignorant asses. How come none of you realize that Bettman is little more than a figurehead, who occasionally serves as a mediator between the Board members and his main job is to represent the interests of the League. Commissioner is not the same as President; league President, which came before Bettman, had the power you think Bettman has. The Commissioner's position does not have nearly that kind of power because the Board felt that the President was too powerful.

Bettman's primary duties are to serve as a negotiator for the league, representing league positions. He cannot actually agree or disagree to a deal with the NHLPA or another organization; he can merely negotiate concessions for a deal and make recommendations to the BoG regarding a proposal. Part of the reason he was able to push back with such force against the NHLPA in 2004 is that the BoG voted to give Bettman the power to veto any deal the players proposed with the backing of just eight owners, or 26.7%. Ultimately this gave Bettman the ability to push forward the owners' agenda with strength, but only due to BoG solidarity.

Look for negotiations involving the NHL, KHL, and IIHF between now and 2014 because that is likely what it will take for the NHL to show up in Sochi. If it doesn't happen, the NHL is not there in 2014, and then comes back in 2018.

I believe Bettman still only needs 8 owners' votes to act - that is a lot of power.

I do not believe the BoG meets that often - a few times a year - but I am having a hard time backing that up.

Those are closed meetings with no journalists.

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I believe Bettman still only needs 8 owners' votes to act - that is a lot of power.

I do not believe the BoG meets that often - a few times a year - but I am having a hard time backing that up.

Those are closed meetings with no journalists.

Unless I have my information wrong, the BoG specifically voted during the lockout in 2004 to give Bettman that power with regard to those negotiations only. And the BoG doesn't need to vote terribly often; that kind of decision making for the league doesn't really happen very often. As I said; Bettman is a face that represents the League's interests and negotiates for the league with the NHLPA, TV networks, IIHF, KHL, whatever. That's his job.

He is not a dictator, nor will the BoG vote to give him or anyone else that power; the President once had that kind of power and since then has had his powers stripped due to abuse and favoritism, among other things.

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Guest zackmorris   
Guest zackmorris
And yet another thread goes by with things people don't like being blamed as "Bettman's opinions" rather than Bettman representing the will of the NHL's BoG, which is what the real deal is.

So many ignorant asses. How come none of you realize that Bettman is little more than a figurehead, who occasionally serves as a mediator between the Board members and his main job is to represent the interests of the League. Commissioner is not the same as President; league President, which came before Bettman, had the power you think Bettman has. The Commissioner's position does not have nearly that kind of power because the Board felt that the President was too powerful.

Bettman's primary duties are to serve as a negotiator for the league, representing league positions. He cannot actually agree or disagree to a deal with the NHLPA or another organization; he can merely negotiate concessions for a deal and make recommendations to the BoG regarding a proposal. Part of the reason he was able to push back with such force against the NHLPA in 2004 is that the BoG voted to give Bettman the power to veto any deal the players proposed with the backing of just eight owners, or 26.7%. Ultimately this gave Bettman the ability to push forward the owners' agenda with strength, but only due to BoG solidarity.

Look for negotiations involving the NHL, KHL, and IIHF between now and 2014 because that is likely what it will take for the NHL to show up in Sochi. If it doesn't happen, the NHL is not there in 2014, and then comes back in 2018.

Bettman has less syllables than Board of Gov and takes less time to explain than BoGs. I'm just lazy.

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From Toronto Star :

...

That is why, you see, Gary Bettman would be wise to tone down his we-may-not-want-to-do-this-anymore rhetoric a wee bit.

This is a hockey street party at which you don’t want to be seen as the guy who won’t move his car. If you don’t like this, you don’t like hockey, which is fine, of course, but hardly the stance one of the sport’s leading statesmen wants to be perceived as taking.

What is making this tourney soar — and an unforgettable conclusion will still be necessary to make it truly historic — is that there is flavour to this beyond the NHL, beyond what the colourless World Cup produces or even, for that matter, the occasionally exotic world championship.

This is the best of everything the game can offer from pretty much every nook and cranny of the known hockey universe. This is the pinnacle.

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From Toronto Star :

...

"But we get the complaints regarding the schedule that we have and the injuries because of the compressed schedule."

Hooey. It's all about the money, the league's rinks sitting empty while its players carry their national flags in distant arenas, Socchi particularly far away, which would require more travelling time to manoeuvre rather than the scrambling that brought many pros to Vancouver the day after their final league game, pre-Games. Participating here meant the league shut down for 14 days. In 1998, when the NHL first joined in, a 17-day break was required; 15 days for Turin.

...

...

"I hear people saying, what's the issue? The Olympics are great for the game, great for hockey coverage," Brian Burke, mastermind of Team USA and Maple Leafs GM, told the Star.

"But there's a flip side. We basically closed our doors at an absolutely key time in the season and told our fans, come back in three weeks."

Burke – who, if you believe him (and we don't) will have no say in the league's executive decision – says he's been in the room with governors who stated flatly they will vote against Sochi. "If the players insist, it will come down to the CBA. Then Gary will have to go back to the owners and sell it."

He further points out that there was no NHL bump – translated into gate receipts in U.S. cities – after Nagano or Turin, both Olympic tournaments without the U.S. or Canada in the finals. Those Games didn't "grow" the game in the NHL weak sisters.

...

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From Niagara Falls Review :

...

* Bettman was clearly ticked off when asked about that article by IIHF communications director Szymon Szemberg, which appeared on the IIHF website ripping NHLers for not showing up for the world championships. Pulling NHLers out of the world championships all together is an option Bettman said he would discuss with the NHL players association. "I'm not happy with the way the IIHF somehow feels it has an entitlement to these great athletes who risk their careers and put themselves out of their own time without anything but love of country," he said.

...

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The IIHF were pissed off that so many players decided not to join their national teams for this years World Championship. Usually there's at least one bona fide NHL superstar on the major nations' teams and a lot of players do tend to join up. This year the Swede's and Czech's had like 25-30 "no thank you"s each, the other major teams probably had more than their share of declines, and pretty much all of the tournament's star players played for one team, Russia. Most years some guys do skip the World Championships, esp from the NHL, due to injuries, age and recent exit from the playoffs, this year I guess there were just too many, too high profile and too many examples where one star player on a team went while the other decided not to (Malkin/Crosby, Kovalchuk/Elias).

The World Championship's reputation is sinking with every year passing and the fewer star players that participate - esp if they get more concentrated like this year - the amount of television viewers will probably shrink. Less viewers equal smaller television deals which in turn equals less money for the IIHF. As far as I know the NHL doesn't get anything.

I don't think this will impact the NHL players' participation at the 2014 Olympics directly. However, there will probably be more s***-throwing before this comes to some kind of resolution. Making some kind of financial concession to the NHL/NHLPA would probably go over very well, and not just when considering the current situation but long term. But the overall structure of the tournament needs to be looked over.

This post became very rambling and I almost made it even more so but this will have to be enough.

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I don't think TV ratings will be that high, however, since the games are being played on a different continent with incovenient times for the games.

I'd like to see NHL players there, but don't expect a repeat of exposure that these past Olympics got in the US.

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From Toronto Star :

...

If and when Gary Bettman and his boys pull the plug on NHLers as Olympians — and the guess here is that he and they will — the main factor will be easy to identify: Going to Russia is simply bad business for a league that needs all the good business it can get.

...

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In a related note, can you imagine David Stern talking to a media conference and using the tone that Bettman did? Roger Goodell? Even Bud Selig woulnd't be a pretentious jackass.

I can see the Sochi games being a complete flop on the men's hockey front if every team is filled with 23 Todd Hlushkos. Absolutely no one new will watch the NHL if that's what they see.

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Todd Hlushko: 8 goals, 21 points and 84 PIMs in 79 career games and 3 career playoff games with no points and 2 PIMs in two appearances over six seasons (1993-94 to 1998-99), the last of which he had no regular season games played but played two playoff games. His best season was 1996-97, when he scored 7 goals and 18 points in 58 games for the Flames.

Hlushko was a decent grinder and defensive player with moderate offensive ability. Not terribly far in effectiveness from Patrick Eaves or Drew Miller, simply less opportunity. After leaving the NHL, he was consistently among the best players in a German Elite League which included players like Alexander Selivanov, Yves Racine, Darryl Shannon, Gilbert Dionne, Michel Picard, Corey Millen, and Christian Ehrhoff.

Realistically, one question, though. I am a fan of sending NHL players to the Olympics. But as far as the "grow the fan base" line, how exactly do NHL players in the Olympics serve that purpose for the NHL? Perhaps more international fans and potentially a future International League, but what does it do to grow fanbases in the US and Canada? Nuttin, that's what. Bob Jones who lives on Hill Street and isn't a hockey fan won't be any more of a hockey fan after the Olympics if NHL players go than if they don't go. He'll either watch hockey and like it, watch hockey and not like it, or not watch hockey at all. None of that is reliant on NHL players being in the Olympics. However, NHL players want to go, and fans worldwide want them to go. So what needs to happen is the IIHF needs to help the NHL and KHL work out some sort of transfer deal. Once a transfer deal is in place, the NHL will be more than happy to allow players to go to the Olympics.

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1. I think it's crappy not to let Russian players play in their home country when they might not get another chance.

2. There is probably less chance of them getting injured at the Olympics that there is at an NHL game.

3. I think this is basically all about NHL rinks sitting empty and not making any money, end of story.

As for the exposure issue, I agree that these Olympics will probably bring less exposure than Vancouver's, but I still think the Olympics creates a certain amount of at least a temporary awareness of any sport. I also think that if they want the people who did watch hockey for the first time and liked what they saw to transition over to the NHL, it would behoove the NHL to have their players there to give these people a preview of what they're going to see. So when somebody watches and thinks, "I wonder who that Russian guy is who fakes out the defense with those crazy cool moves," he can look up #13 and find out that it's Pavel Datsyuk, who plays for the Detroit Red Wings, and gee, maybe he should start watching the Wings after this thing is over! Much better than finding out it's some random college kid from Minnesota whom you'll probably never hear from again.

Also, from a fan perspective, I hear a lot of people say this should be the time for amateur players to shine, but...I don't know. I like seeing my favorite players change it up and play with different people (even if it doesn't exactly pan out...it was still cool seeing Datsyuk play with Ovi, for instance), and it's better than the All-Star game because it's an actual tournament, and they're playing for national pride. It's like the soccer World Cup - they've got to have SOMETHING that's special to everybody and is a place where the players can play for their countries, and since the World Championships are every year and kinda lame, it's got to be the Olympics.

The only thing I will say is that it does kind of break a team's momentum. Well, except it helped ours this year, but that's because we got so many players back from injuries right after that. In general, though, I can see how a team not practicing or playing together for a couple of weeks could mess up your rhythm. I think it's worth it, though, and I'd feel really bad if all the Russian guys didn't get a chance to play. It's only once every 4 years, after all.

Edited by MulesWillFly93

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Realistically, one question, though. I am a fan of sending NHL players to the Olympics. But as far as the "grow the fan base" line, how exactly do NHL players in the Olympics serve that purpose for the NHL? Perhaps more international fans and potentially a future International League, but what does it do to grow fanbases in the US and Canada? Nuttin, that's what.

Are you kidding? How can having your nation play in the gold medal game not raise awareness/attract new fans. Look what Phelps did for Swimming. The dream team for the NBA and US softball teams did to increase interest in their sport by competing at the Olympics. Now im obviously not expecting Team USA to dominate in the same fashion but to say having them compete in the Olympics would do noting to grow the fanbase is nonsense.

Edited by Original-Six

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Are you kidding? How can having your nation play in the gold medal game

And this is caused by NHL players playing in the Olympics, and not simply by Team USA and Team Canada doing well, respectively? Having NHL players on the rosters, or not having NHL players does WHAT to grow fanbases? Nothing, as I said.

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