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Daly calls NHL’s Olympic experience a ‘mixed bag’

Jan 8, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

billdalygetty Getty Images

Back in July, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT that the league and players’ union were taking a wait-and-see approach when it came to participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It’s our joint intention (NHL and NHLPA) to assess the experience in Sochi before even considering whether to continue with Olympic participation going forward,” wrote Daly in an email.

At the time, we surmised that the 2014 Games would be the last ones in which NHLers participated, at least for the foreseeable future. And based on Daly’s recent comments to the Wall Street Journal, we’ll stick with that prediction.

“Our experience with the Olympics has been a mixed bag—it’s not our tournament, we’re not in control of it, it’s at a time of the year that doesn’t work in our regular-season schedule,” Daly said. “On the positive side, we recognize we’re on a world-wide stage.”

In November, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman voiced his support for the return of the World Cup, as opposed to ongoing participation in the Olympics.

  1. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    “Any press is good press” and the NHL should take that advice.

    The NHL needs to realize that the world sees these players as the best of the best in hockey around the world.

    Should the NHL not allow players in 2018 will the KHL and the European Legaues also ban this?? I think not.

    If the Olympics were to put a ban on “professional” players that would pretty much leave a world junior team or even retired players only.

    I feel that the Olympics should showcase the best talent available…..for any sport. Be it hockey, luge, fencing etc…

    • imleftcoast - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      Constant negotiating. That’s Bettman, and it’s inappropriate timing one month before Sochi. Call Bettman’s bluff, and we can watch college kids at the Olympics. Let’s see how what the dip is in sales of NHL jerseys. Penny-wise, pound foolish – same as with expansion fees.

  2. JoeAvg - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    As long as whatever happens has the same level of participation from the various countries it should be OK – Olympics or no. Some, maybe most, of the best games I’ve seen over the last 30 years have been from Olympic, Canada Cup, etc. competition. Wouldn’t want to see it go away completely.

  3. charlieconway96 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    I understand that GM’s and owners don’t want to see top players injured in games that don’t benefit their teams. That being said, the players (or at least most of them it seems) themselves clearly want to be a part of the Olympics. If they didn’t you probably wouldn’t hear anything about players being disappointed to be left of their countries teams.

  4. killerpgh - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    I would love to see the World Cup brought back. But wouldn’t a simple solution be to play the World Cup for 3 years than take a year off every 4th year to let the players play in the Olympic. They could even keep the World Cup during Olympic years if they really wanted to since the World Cup would be held after the Stanley Cup Finals (but an 82 game season + playoff + Olympics+world Cup might be a lot to ask of players not to burn themselves out).

    On a side note since the NHL will be running the World Cup (not the IIHF) would it fall under Hockey Related Revenue and effect the NHL’s salary cap? Could be an issue with the NHLPA if they aren’t getting a piece of the pie.

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      I think the NHL and NHLPA are just pissed at missing some of the revenue of the Olympic swag…LOL

      Just kidding.

  5. stonebullet - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    I would be more in favor of a World Cup than the Olympics. And on a separate topic, as an American I am proud of our country’s participation in the Olympics regardless of the sport, but I could care less who wins the gold medal of NHL-ers. I don’t know if that’s a widespread feeling in America, I know Canadian’s would kill to win the hockey godld, but it just isn’t something I get into. I want my NHL team to be healthy and win a Stanley Cup 100% more. Olympic hockey is great entertainment, don’t get me wrong, but win or lose is irrelevant to me (like an All-Star game). I want the Stanley Cup.

    • badgerhockey77 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      Agreed! Bring back the World Cup of Hockey. USA’s greatest ever hockey achievement in 1996. Awesome memories of that!

  6. muckleflugga - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    i would happily see the nhl quit the olympics…

    its relevance on the world stage is immaterial and has never been of consequence beyond status as a tatty commercial enterprise offended because it can’t share spoils in a tattier and hugely profitable commercial enterprise

    the nhl is in comparison, small potatoes as are bettman and daly

    before the nhl came to the olympics, its hockey was riveting and entertaining…players were selected with intent on building teams suited to the olympic game…nauseating attachments to patriotism and flag waving were at a minimum when held against pride in hockey excellence itself…

    it was important hockey in its season….not the end of the world as it’s become on network television…scrabbling for viewership with young people burying heads in self interest and smart phones and computer screens and the nfl

    as for nhl player movement to a world cup…no problems there…merging with talent and skill moving out of the european junior pool…it would be amazing hockey to see even as were world cups in the sixties amazing to see…

    carl brewer is my all-time world cup hockey hero not playing for russia…fearless and intimidating…a superb defensemen…three cups with the leafs…posthumously named to the finnish hockey hall of fame…

    brewer was active in bringing the players’ association to its current state…and instrumental in convicting and imprisoning players’ association boss alan eagleson…for racketeering, embezzlement and fraud for stealing from players’ pension fund…a lawyer

    brewer gave up a lucrative and successful playing career in the nhl to have himself reinstated as an amateur…to help build hockey canada and play for canada at the world cup…before returning to the professional game

    what are the odds canadian professionals and media darlings in the present, would do the same for canada were demand for amateur status restored at olympics and world cup…?

    brewer is worthy of a place in the hockey hall of fame by any measure

    the snub, if you will, has always been troubling…

    • blomfeld - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM


      Friends, the bottom line is that the Olympics has no place for those who are fueled by money and/or narcotics. After all, the Olympics is a ‘time-honored’ tradition dating back to antiquity, where greatness and virtue would clash ‘head to head’ while God sat ringside as jury and judge. Today of course, any reasonable person understands that and obviously agrees that all ‘money and/or narcotic fueled’ participants should be neutralized post haste. Therefore it’s a given that Bettman will now do the ‘right’ thing and abstain from signing on to 2018.

  7. joey4id - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    GB: Men! Time to commence the exit strategy from the Olympics. No way in hell are we going to South Korea. For all we know Kim Rod-man may be in power by the time 2018 comes around. :-)

    Rumors have been rampant that the NHL wants out, and what better time to do it than after Russia, and before South Korea. Besides, if they play their cards right they should be able to create a hole new yearly revenue stream built around a World Championship model. Go! Gary! Baby! You’re the man!

  8. gunnyhighway88 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    I understand why the NHL wants out, but it’s not gonna be so easy for them to make that happen. Players want to represent their countries and be in the olympics. It’s special to a lot of athletes all over the world. The players aren’t going to let that be taken away from them so easy.

  9. hockeyflow33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Showcasing the NHL brand on the world stage, for free, is bad?

  10. 127taringa - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    It is a good move by the NHL. Why let the IIHF, IOC use the NHL players when they stand against the NHL stands for? The IIHF, IOC etc dont like competitive, agressive, body contact sports. I doubt that they would allow it except they can profit of the backs of the NHL and its Players. The World Cup is the way to go. Of course, the IIHF shouldn’t be making money off that either.

  11. bobc74 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    First of all can anyone say for certain South Korea will still be a country in 2018? Secondly, the Olympic games were originally created as skill competitions for amateur athletes, not professionals. So, no the NHL, KHL, etc shouldn’t be participating. Neither should the NBA or any other professional sports league. Nor should tennis pro’s like Serena Williams. Neither should gymnasts nor ice skaters who have been on paid tours.

  12. greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Shutting down the NHL for 2 weeks is great for everyone. Let’s be honest here, the Olympics are much better than any All-Star Game the NHL could put on, in any location. They could make the All-Star Game another part of the Winter Classic on Lake Superior and I’d still rather watch Olympic hockey.

    The NHL will lose players to the KHL and other European leagues if Bettman and Co. decide to not let the players participate in the Olympics. If I am a NHL player that was boarder line Olympian, I would seriously think long and hard about signing contracts that end the season before the Olympics and sign a 1 year deal in the KHL, letting me play in the Olympics.

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