Winners and Losers From No NHL Olympic Participation

Team Canada (Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports)
Team Canada (Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
RIGA, LATVIA – MAY 30: Michael Bunting #27 of Canada in action during the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship group stage game between Italy and Canada at Arena Riga on May 30, 2021 in Riga, Latvia. Canada defeated Italy 7-1. (Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images) /

Loser: Older Players

Hockey players zero in on the Stanley Cup from a young age, but make no mistake about it, the Olympics are a very special event, and one that cannot be understated.

Now the rights to images of Olympic events are very restricted, so while you can gaze at Toronto Maple Leafs player Michael Bunting, technically the above photo is from the 2021 IIHF World Championship.

The point here however, is the sweater that he is wearing. Pulling on your country’s jersey and representing them on the ice is a massive privilege and not one that any professional athlete takes lightly.

For some, like Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid and Mitch Marner there will be another Olympics and they will all still be in the primes of their careers. There is nothing to worry about, it is disappointing to miss this one, but there will be more.

For others, like Team Canada Golden Goal Hero Sidney Crosby, this news is quite possibly heartbreaking. Crosby is just one of many elder statesmen in the Team Canada set-up that likely won’t have another shot at going to the Olympics.

Drew Doughty, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and possibly even Carey Price are all players that would have been on the plane. Doughty is the youngest of the four, but at 32, it’s impossible to know how or what his game will be like, if he is still playing, at 36. The worst part is, they have seen this opportunity evaporate through no fault of their own.