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2018 Winter Olympics awarded to Pyeongchang, South Korea; Tough break for hockey fans?

Jul 6, 2011, 1:46 PM EDT

123rd IOC Session Durban - 2018 Olympics Announcement Getty Images

What isn’t clear: Whether or not the NHL will put its regular season on hold for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (Russia) and/or the 2018 edition in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

What is clear: Either way, hockey fans might need to watch games at some strange hours to view these puck exhibitions as they happen live.

In case you haven’t heard, the 2018 Winter Olympics were awarded to Pyeonchang, South Korea today after two failed previous attempts. Apparently the city dominated the competition to get the Winter Olympics, earning 63 out of 95 votes despite only needing 48 to earn the victory. Pyeonchang becomes the first Asian city outside of Japan to host the Winter Games, according to the Associated Press.

While that is great news for the city and South Korea as a whole, it might not be fantastic for the sleep cycles or work schedules of North American hockey fans. The NHL hasn’t committed (nor has it definitively said “No”) to sending hockey players to the next two Winter Olympics, but time zone differences – not to mention extensive travel – could be a big obstacle to deal with. Just take a look at the time in South Korea right now and you’ll see that things might get a little weird.

You never know, though; things might work out in the long run. It would be great to see NHL players in both Olympics, but it might not be practical. Hockey fans should probably give those games a try either way. After all, other international events (see: the World Junior Hockey Championships) are often extremely enjoyable without current NHLers.

  1. bcjim - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I have no interest virtually in the NHL kowtowing to the Olympics.

  2. BlackandGoldMNBruinsFan - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Honestly, this is a little insensitive to the rest of the hockey world, who have had to deal with the Olympics being over here in North America…what time do you think it was in Russia to watch when the Olympics were in Vancouver? True fans will watch the games (or DVR them) no matter what time they are. I know I’ll be watching.

    Here’s hoping the NHL sends players over there.

  3. djwhite2710 - Jul 6, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    It may be a little insensitive…but it makes the NHL have an easier time saying no to NHL players in the Olympics.

    I love Olympic hockey and I do think its presence, particuarlly last year has helped the NHL market the game to the US. I don’t think the games in Korea will have that affect due to the time zones differences – and thus will not provide a benefit to the NHL.

    Remember, ultimately the NHL is a business that needs to look after the best interest of the league / bottom line, and having only die-hards DVRing games probally isn’t worth the risk of having big names potentially get injured.

  4. philk0731 - Jul 6, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    How can you tell if that chink in the photo has his eyes open or closed?

    • rushbacker - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:51 PM

      Nice racist comment, jackass.

      • comeonnowguys - Jul 7, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        Who were the three other people besides phil that thumbed that up?

  5. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 6, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    On a global scale, does Ice Hockey get the best ratings? That’s the question that should be asked. Maybe some of the other events appeal more to the world. When it comes to hockey, yea it isn’t of the most convenient circumstances. But I’m sure most of us will watch no matter what time or who is playing for the USA.

  6. whatagreatfootballmind - Jul 6, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    NBC doesn’t air every event live. Now that NBC has acquired Versus, hockey fans wouldn’t have a hard time finding it. As previous posts have said, we can always DVR or TiVo it. I bet the rating last olympics, espically the gold medal game were off the charts. If the NHL pulls the plug on this, they are hurting only the fans. Olympic hockey is by far the best hockey we ever see, every 4 years. That being said, if Bettman is still around, he will find a way to wreck it.

  7. chobes68 - Jul 7, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Hockey is about the only reason I watch the Winter olympics. That’s what DVRs are for.

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