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, Auston Matthews
TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 16: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs .(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Winner: NHL Teams

This one is not hard to understand. No NHL team wants a two-week disruption in the push towards the trade deadline and the playoffs. No NHL team wants to risk losing their superstar to an injury or to a lengthy spell in quarantine.

These organizations are all hell bent on success and the greatest chance they have of being successful is to hunker down as a team and find a way to win the Stanley Cup. You don’t get that with disruptions and uncertainty.

There is room to argue that teams and players could have a positive bump coming back from a successful Olympic campaign but the risk far outweighs the rewards for the NHL teams.

For now, almost all NHL teams have someone in COVID protocol and even a mini break in the season isn’t going to help that too much. Adding into that stress the hassle of sending off your best players to Beijing is not something any GM or President would want to do.

In other Olympic times sure, the stress might not be there, but this 2022 version of the Games is wholly different to any others thanks in no small part to the country it is being held in as well as the rapidly rising case numbers.

No Olympic participation is just one less thing to rock the boat.