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cusimano_brothers

IIHF vs. NHL.

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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.

But its not just about TV ratings in NA. The NHL has quite a large following across the globe, especially in Europe, and if Bettman wants to give the league even more exposure then he needs to allow its best players to compete in the Olympics.

The BBC coverage of the Olympic ice hockey was fantastic this year, decent commentators were employed rather than the "its a minority sport, get someone cheap and clueless" as has happened before with the BBC and it was well reported in the press. One thing very evident during the games though was the regular referring to the NHL team various players played for and their accomplishments in the NHL as well as wider hockey tournaments.

This kind of exposure on the UKs national, ad-free, media broadcaster is superb. Within the UK ice hockey coverage is generally restricted to ESPN subscribers for NHL or Sky TV for our own domestic hockey league (the EIHL).

The acid test though was the amount of people who I work with who, knowing that I'm a hockey nut, commented on how much they enjoyed watching the Olympic hockey and although they'd never thought of watching it before were getting a subscription to ESPN so that they could continue to watch the some of the best players in the world in the best league.

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It was awesome to watch the NHLer's play in the Olympics. I wouldn't watch the Russian tournament without them. But how can you argue with the league about it's stance. They are all multi millionaires meaning they are probably pretty good at reading cost/benefit ratio statements. If it doesn't pencil out to shut the league down and send it's players to Russia, then it doesn't pencil out. Too bad, so sad, but why would you expect them to do it?

ALL the non hockey fans that talked to me about the Vancouver Games said, "Wow, that Sidney Crosby sure is great". :wacko:

Edited by T.Low

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ALL the non hockey fans that talked to me about the Vancouver Games said, "Wow, that Sidney Crosby sure is great". :wacko:

They must not have watched the tournament, because he was far from Canada's best forward.

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they all are talking about big investment and risks business (teams) are taking allowing their players to go to play in Olympics. how they are multimillioners and blah-blah-blah

but they are keep forgetting who are the customers of these businesses? Who pays for the product?

we are customers and we are who pay.

sure bettman wont listen to us, never did. but it doesn't mean we should keep silence.

Edited by ami

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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.

So, you seek out and watch a bunch of swimming and softball now? You're an avid fan of those sports after the Olympics when you weren't before?

From a business perspective, it doesn't make sense to just stop the season in the middle of the season and disrupt the teams for this kind of event. On the player's side, of course, you are honored to play for your home country on an international stage. It's definitely not an easy solution, but the argument that the players participating will result in an explosion of interest in the NHL just doesn't have any merit.

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So, you seek out and watch a bunch of swimming and softball now? You're an avid fan of those sports after the Olympics when you weren't before?

From a business perspective, it doesn't make sense to just stop the season in the middle of the season and disrupt the teams for this kind of event. On the player's side, of course, you are honored to play for your home country on an international stage. It's definitely not an easy solution, but the argument that the players participating will result in an explosion of interest in the NHL just doesn't have any merit.

I personally know a few people who became interested in the NHL after the last winter Olympics. However, the games being played on a delay (due to time difference) would make watching less interesting IMO. That is, if USA loses in regulation, I am less likely to watch the replay. I don't know how/if this effects the casual fan though.

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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.

Exactly. In 2010 Rafalski was almost a household name in America thanks to his heroics in the Olympics.

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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...

I don't think any player has refused Olympic participation yet or will anytime soon

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Alex Ovechkin, reiterating a point he has made in the past: from

NBC Washington:

But the 2014 Games will be in Sochi. Ovechkin does not want to miss the chance to play in front of his Russian fans.

When asked if he was going to play, his answer was simple: "Yeah."

"What are they going to do if I'm going?" Ovechkin said and laughed.

I'm sure Uncle Gary is paying attention.

Edited by cusimano_brothers

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From TSN:

The International Ice Hockey Federation is operating on the assumption that NHL players will take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"We've prepared everything with the idea that NHL players will be there," IIHF President Rene Fasel said Friday. "We've decided about the format and expect them to be there."

Fasel was re-elected to another four-year term as president at the IIHF's general congress in Tokyo.

Uncle Gary, you listening?

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From TSN:

"Once the CBA is ratified and there has been some cooling-down period, we will sit together with the IOC, the NHL and NHLPA to find solutions how to make sure that Sochi 2014 becomes the fifth consecutive best-on-best Olympic event," said Fasel. "As I have always pointed (out) whenever asked questions about NHL players' participation, our doors are always open and I am confident that we will find ways -- like we did in Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver -- to stage this event on the biggest sporting stage there is."

Up next: more negotiations Uncle Gary won't like.

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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.

The Miracle on Ice and the international success that American teams have had since (something they haven't had before) are more responsible for the growth of HRR in the NHL than expansion, or the drastic rise in prices of anything NHL or anything else Bettman has done.

In 1980 (the year of the Miracle on Ice) the NHL didn't even have a handful of Americans playing in it. By the time Bettman became commissioner there was almost a hundred.

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From Washington Post:

The Capitals will allow Alex Ovechkin to take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, regardless of whether the NHL permits all of its players to participate in the games, owner Ted Leonsis said Thursday.

This isn't the kind a start to "negotiations" that Uncle Gary wanted to see.

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From rt dot com:

A watertight agreement exists with the National Hockey League that will free its players for the Sochi Games, says KHL board member, Valery Kamensky.

“We have the Olympics in Sochi next year. It’s the main event,” Kamensky told Sportbox.ru “We all must prepare for it. Everything must be done for our national team to succeed there and take gold medals.”

“By the way, it’s very good that there’s already an agreement that the NHL players will take part in the Olympics. It’s 100 per cent certain decision. Hockey in Sochi will be very interesting,” he added.

Before you label this as a "consider the source" story, there has been corroboration; I first heard about this from Bob McKenzie on TSN. He said that formal discussions still have to be held, with the League trying to squeeze for money to offset the money they won't be making during that sixteen-day period.

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From CBC:

The four sides involved in getting NHL players to the 2014 Winter Olympics are set to meet in New York to try to thrash out a deal.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Players Association head Donald Fehr, International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel and a representative of the International Olympic Committee are to meet Thursday and Friday, mainly about NHL participation in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

All four sides agree they want NHL players there, but there are key issues to resolve before a deal is done. No one has set a deadline, so there should still be time to reach an agreement even if it doesn't happen this week.

It could be a lively encounter, as Fasel set the tone in an interview with the CBC in Sochi on Saturday that came across as dismissive of Bettman and the NHL's concerns.

He said the only thing that could prevent NHL participation is "ego from some people in North America" and that "I think Gary has no other choice. He has to come to Sochi."

...

Fasel isn't afraid to negotiate in the media.

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From CBC:

The NHL says there is more work to do before NHL players return to the Olympics.

NHL officials met Friday with representatives from the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation.

"We had a good working session and were able to discuss all of the issues involved in the possibility of having NHL players participate in the 2014 Sochi Games," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.

"The parties are committed to continuing to work through the process, but there remains work to be done on all sides."

...

Note that this happened last Friday, 12/04/2013.

Does the possibility of the "Mega Winter Classic Marathon" alter the dynamics of this now?

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What do you guys mean you don't know if playing in the Olympics creates new NHL fans?? People here in the US watch that s*** not because they are hockey fans but because they support their USA team. When they hear team USA hockey is in the semi finals they want to watch even if they had no prior interest in hockey. I know kids that walked away hockey fans after that USA and Canada game. What a great thing for our sport. It has to be by FAR the biggest draw and exposure to our sport to none hockey fans ever. People that never watch hockey see that game because of the fact they simply want to watch USA or everyone is talking so much about it and realize wow, this is a very intense amazing sport, why don't I watch this?? Do the math.

I don't give a s*** that the MLB doesn't attend the Olympics. The Olympics is the best hockey I have ever seen. I would much rather watch that than the NHL playoffs. What a shame it would be for us to never get the chance to see the best hockey players in the world play together on a few stacked teams. I will be absolutely livid, the lockout didn't upset me that much, but this will. If they were going to cancel I want a 4 year notice. Because I been waiting for 2014 for over 3 years now. I will not watch the rest of the season and I will post hate about their decision every chance I get for this whole duration. Although I will be back for playoffs, but I will execute up to that point and take my stand as best I can as an individual.

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The NHL can go off a cliff, players - including superstars - already stated they are going to participate. Like Ovechkin said what are they going to do, if he is going? Yeah cry a river and become even more stupid then they already are, big deal.

You can not compare the MLB and NHL worldwide, there is only one continent where Baseball is big and I mean really big = USA, so it just isn't a good olympic sport.

Hockey on the other side has many stars from a lot of hockeycrazy countries (Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, USA, Russia, Finland) I for one will be very happy to finally see some stacked teams again, since the NHL has become a joke and it is almost impossible to ice stacked teams.

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many things come to mind here.

1. bettman is the owners stooge. he does what THEY want. Period. same is true in every league.

2. The easy solution is, cancel the pre-season, and take the 2 week break-cancel the AS game and break as well-no one really cares.

3. if the NHL players are not allowed to play, this summer may become very interesting. many Euros may decide to stay home and not play for the NHL next season, so they can play in the WO. The KHL pays well enough that star players may do it.

4. I mentioned before the creation of a Hockey Super league. This could happen out of this type of disagreement.

5. One other poster brought up a thought. This could be a means of fixing the transfer agreement with Russia. After all, where are the games played this winter?

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What Uncle Gary is trying not to say (not too many time publicly, at least) is that there is no money to be made for the League in shutting down for two weeks and allowing the players to be part of the Olympics. There is way more money to be made having umpteen outdoor games.

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No no no, let's just have the Olympics every year now. Problem solved.

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