Why The NHL Needs To Participate In The Olympics In 2014

Jacob MowatCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2010

QUEBEC CITY - MAY 18:  Alexander Ovechkin #8 of Russia shoots the puck against Canada during the Gold Medal Game of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship at the Colisee Pepsi on May 18, 2008 in Quebec City, Canada. Russia defeated Canada 5-4 in overtime to win the gold medal. (Photo by: Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The NHL is still trying to decide whether or not to participate in the 2014 Olympics in Russia. The Czechs won the tournament in Nagano, Japan and have nose dived since. The seven hockey nations have moved down to only Sweden, Canada, USA, Russia, and sometimes Finland. However, for me, the NHL being in the Olympics is a no-brainer.

There are two reasons for this.

First of all, it's in Russia and losing Ovechkin, Malkin, and Kovalchuk for two weeks, which is what's going to happen if the NHL doesn't participate, would be disastrous. What are they going to do to them other than take away pay for those games? If they suspend them, the teams only suffer more.

Second, even though it may not be gaining more interest, it sure does get current fans interested. What would you rather watch, the best players in the world competing for their country or a February tilt between two NHL teams? For me it's a no-brainer. If the NHL doesn't send its players, Olympic hockey will become boring like Olympic baseball.

If Gary Bettman really wants what's best for hockey, the players, and the fans, he'd press for the NHL being involved in the Olympics. But since Gary dosn't have a very good track record with that kind of thing this has become a point of leverage.