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
EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 14: Morgan Rielly #44 and William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Loser: The Game of Hockey

The Game of Hockey being a loser in this scenario is harder to quantify, but it should not be understated and perhaps this is the only sore point for Bettman as he broods in his lair.

The NHL has been trying to crack new markets for quite some time now. Yes, the league is expanding and there are rumours that another NHL Franchise could be on the cards in the near future.

However there are only so many cities in North America and there will be a case for no more expansions at a point, and relocations come into the picture. The NHL has yet to cross that bridge and so for now they are focusing on growing the game elsewhere.

It is not easy to grow a game that few have access to, and even fewer have the chance and ability to play. The Scandinavian nations love hockey but are deeply invested in their own professional leagues, while the KHL has the same hold over Russia.

The NHL has the best hockey players and the NHL brass has always seen the Olympics as a useful tool to launch their game into the homes of people who may not think about hockey too much.

There will still be hockey at the Olympics, but it is no longer the same viable talking point for the NHL and that hurts hockey overall.

You always want to put your best foot forward when promoting a product, but with no NHL participation that foot is staying firmly in North America. The spectacle is greatly diminished.