One Last Hurrah: Could 2010 Olympic Games Be the Last for NHL Players?

Jason HackettAnalyst INovember 29, 2007

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics games marks the return of the Olympics to Canada for the first time since the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. It could also mark the last time the NHL provides its players for the hockey tournament.

At least, that is, according to Gary Bettman, because of the hectic schedule disruption that it causes the NHL. The two week break provided by the NHL for the Olympics seems to cause too much hassle for Bettman to handle.

So sometime soon, Bettman and the rest of the NHL executives will discuss whether or not the 2014 games with be without Crosby, Ovechkin and company.

Talk centers on the disruption it causes the NHL and its players, or at least approximately the 100-200 (ballpark figure) players who participate in the games. I personally think it is more a low blow to the current disagreement between Russia and the IIHF over the player transfer agreement from Europe to the NHL.

It's funny that this causes such a "disruption," given that the Olympic games in question are in Russia in 2014.  Yet Bettman has no problem sending teams to England this year or to Russia next year.

Personally, I have no problem if the NHL players go or don't go. I love watching NHL players battling it out for the Gold—but at the same time I get to see that for any NHL game or All Star game. So if they don't go I have no problem cheering on some European defects from Canada take on the world for Gold! Kind of like watching the Spengler Cup each year!

So the question remains, is this a message towards Russia? Or a legitimate concern from the NHL commissioner?