Kind of off topic, but it reminds me of a Michigander friend of mine, who is Hispanic and has family still in Mexico. His much younger brother played hockey and LOVED the Red Wings. My friend follows hockey but didn't play.
My friend would tell his brother that he liked the Wings because the Wings have a Mexican player. The conversation would go something like this:
Friend: I like the Wings because they have a Mexican guy.
Brother: They don't have Mexicans.
Friend: Oh, yeah? What about Pablo Datsyuk?
Brother: It's PAVEL Datsyuk.
Friend: Pavel? There aren't any Mexicans named Pavel.
Brother: He's Russian.
Friend: No way. There aren't any Russians in Mexico.
Brother: He's not from Mexico.
Friend: All Mexicans are from Mexico.
Brother: He's not Mexican.
Friend: Sure his is. Why else would he be named Pablo?
This would go on and on until the brother gave up. The brother is grown up now. Game over.
Seriously, if the NHL pulls out and other leagues (SEL, KHL, etc.) still play, we can pretty much kiss good-bye the hope of ever winning a medal for the US or Canada again.
I think the Russians will dominate.
I doubt that the big names making big money and/or the franchise players will purposely take on contracts that will leave them free agents in Olympic years, but some guys who are borderline players who happen to be free agents might consider playing abroad so that they'd be free to get the chance to play in the Olympics.
If we're watering down the pool, guys like Hudler, who will be 34 in 2018, might leave the NHL early for the chance to play if they've never been chosen before.
I know it will kill my interest in Olympic hockey if I don't know any of the names.
No phones? No lights? No motorcars? Not a single luxury?
Let's hope there's plenty of bamboo.
Honestly, unless one country is singled out for better or worse treatment than the rest, they're all on the same playing field. Maybe ones from less advanced countries will benefit because they're used to a rougher existence, but the others are in the same boat... luge... whatever.
I may be remembering this wrong so I'm putting this out for those who may remember in hopes that someone will confirm or refute this.
As I recall, Vladdy was amongst those benefiting from the Toast of Hockeytown and other fund-raising charitable events when he was first injured and began his rehab up until his lawsuit against Gnida and/or the limo company was settled.
As far as responsibility, I'd think that the NHLPA would be more beholden to help than the team, but I can see why the team (and owners) would have a personal reason to step up and help.
In the end, we don't owe each other (outside of our families) anything. Rising up and giving to each other out of the goodness of our hearts is what makes us realize the good that is out there and gives us incentive to carry on and contribute to help those who need it in the hope that they will continue as they are able.