The NHL’s decision to remove NHL players from the Olympic equation has caused much frustration among hockey fans. The tournament had, over the last few iterations, become one of the most anticipated dates in the hockey universe. Fans from each region and country relished who was chosen for the roster, how their respective superstars would gel, sometimes even playing out of position.
Olympic men’s hockey has given us some of the most memorable moments of the last few decades, including Sidney Crosby’s “golden goal” and both Dominik Hasek and T.J. Oshie’s opposite shootout performances. It’s even provided lesser-known hockey nations with some incredible memories, like Switzerland stunning Canada 2-0 on the back of Martin Gerber’s 49-save shutout, or Belarus toppling Sweden with a slapshot to Tommy Salo’s head.
Obviously though, there are also moments of hockey history formed in the tournaments played without NHL participation. The “Miracle on Ice” for one, when in 1980 a scrappy Team USA made up of college kids took home gold in the face of outrageous odds. Or when a young Peter Forsberg would pull off one of the most replicated breakaway moves of all-time to win gold, just before starting his NHL career.
There are arguments for both sides. Still, with the rosters of Canada and the United States filled more with failed or retired NHLers some of the fun is sure to be drained from the event. The question then is, will you even watch? Vote below, and leave your comments on why you will or will not tune in for the upcoming Games.
[Mobile users click here to vote!]
*As an addendum, there will still be best-on-best action in women’s hockey at the upcoming Olympics, where an old rivalry between Canada and the United States is sure to be as fierce as ever. Currently, the two sides are playing a series of tune-up games, which so far they’ve split with two separate blowouts. Women’s Olympic hockey is sure to be one of the most watched events by many fans in both countries and deservedly so.