Loser: The Fans
Seeing NHL players at the Olympics is awesome for fans of the game of hockey. You are seeing the players who will likely never play with each other in the NHL skating on the same line in your country’s jersey. It is a sight to behold.
Who would have thought that a line of Marchand – Crosby – Bergeron would be one of the best the Olympics has seen. What about the speed and vision of a line of Nathan Mackinnon – Connor McDavid – Mitch Marner? The potential of seeing Alexander Ovechkin teamed up with Evegni Malkin and Nikita Kucherov all in a Russia jerseys on one line is tantalizing.
No NHL participation robs the fans of just that. The hockey at the 2018 Sochi Games was so far removed from the spectacle at the 2014 or 2010 Games. The players aren’t at the same level and the fans are the ones that suffer.
Quite frankly, I barely remember the 2018 hockey at all, but I can tell you where I was sitting in my house in England in 2010 when Crosby scored in the final.
That’s the difference.
As a secondary loser, but still fitting for this slide, the rest of the Olympic events are losers in this too. Some of you may be Olympic diehards and watch whatever is on whenever it is on, but there are undoubtedly a number of fans who just tune in for the hockey.
If they tune in a bit before the game they will see coverage of a different event – speed skating, luge, snowboard cross, freestyle skiing moguls, the list goes on but no NHL participation could conceivably amount to a reduction in watch time and then everybody loses.