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Hockey Canada has no backup plan if NHL pulls out of Sochi

Jan 29, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Hockey Canada

If the NHL pulls its players out of the 2014 Winter Olympics because of security concerns, Hockey Canada will be left scrambling.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson said there is no “Plan B” if violence causes the NHL to keep the players in North America as Joshua Clipperton of The Canadian Press shares.

“Our contingency plan would be everyone around this room today,” he said while speaking to reporters at Rogers Arena. “We have none.”

Not having a backup plan for how to handle Olympic hockey can be excused here since, if there are problems that would force athletes to stay away, there would be much larger concerns to deal with. Winning gold in hockey (or any sport) doesn’t compare to maintaining safety.

The possibility of violence causing a disruption of the games in Sochi, Russia is a hot topic of late. The NHL reportedly has a “contingency plan” if things take a turn for the worse and some players are having their families stay away from Russia to keep them safe.

The Olympic hockey tournament begins February 12.

  1. lowenni - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    So what would happen? AHL players go? Does the NHL just plan on keeping the best athletes of their sport from competing in the ultimate competition? I imagine if they withdrew their athletes but other events didn’t the NHL would draw a massive amount of criticism, even with the insurance costs and security concerns.

    • bsaures - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      If it is too dangerous that the NHL has to pull out then im guessing most countries wont be sending people either they would never get insured. The NHL can basically kill these games if they want to.

  2. hardkor07mn - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    How sad is this? We can’t send our best athletes to compete at the highest level without fearing for their lives? What is this world coming to? Sad. Very sad

    • hockey412 - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:07 AM

      I agree with your sentiment but it’s not what the world is coming to, it’s what the world has always been. They are putting the Olympics in areas where there is, and has been, some strife for years. In all honesty, safety is something that many people take for granted. Things won’t be any different in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and especially won’t be any different in 2018 in Pyeongchang.

  3. c9castine - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    what a load of BS. he acts like NHL players are the only quality hockey players in canada or anywhere for that matter. NHL pulls out, there will be guys and kids around north america lining up from colleges and juniors and even lower level pro teams to play for the US, Canada, or any major hockey nation.

    its not going to happen though everybody needs to just relax. be smart, not afraid

  4. blomfeld - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:44 PM


    While there’s little doubt that the Russians offer ‘no quarter’ to would-be antagonists like no one else, the fact remains that the dye has likely already been cast for that which will transpire in Sochi. Any Mujahid operatives designated for upset at the coming games were probably embedded years ago and so ‘last minute’ moves like this probably amount to nothing more than a re-arranging of deck chairs on the Titanic. I support Vladimir Putin and that which he’s trying to achieve for his country. However this is surely going to be a ‘tough’ one, no doubt. So God speed Russian friends and may it be that you prevail over potential upset and mayhem, by staging the ‘greatest’ winter games ever held ! :)

    • bsaures - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      You support a man who has committed countless war crimes including genocide. Wow just wow.

      • govtminion - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        On the bright side, finally hockey has a bigger jerkoff to worry about that Bettman. I mean, there’s THAT, right?

      • stakex - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:24 AM

        He didn’t say he wanted to be his best friend, only that he was supporting what he was trying to do for his country. Big difference there.

        Also, before you go off on Putin too much…. don’t forget that between 150,000-500,000 Iraqi’s (most of them civilians, and the total varies depending on the source) died as a direct result of out invasion. An invasion btw that was based on knowingly false evidence drummed up for the sole purpose of deposing the leader of a sovereign state who didn’t attack us, and posed no threat. So sure, Putin way well be a war criminal for what happened during the Chechen Wars…. but by those same standards so was out last president (assuming you’re American).

      • blomfeld - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:28 AM

        I take it friend that you’re both very naive and simplistic, therefore I’m going to ‘stand down’ from responding to your ‘predictable’ and uneducated retort …

      • bsaures - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:59 AM

        Yes my University education make me a simpleton you are so perceptive. Btw I am not American and I am very happy I am not. I wouldn’t want to be lumped in with your lot. Maybe Blomfeld you simply cant take two minutes to use the wonderful tool of Google to do a little research on a man and all of his “policies” before you throw your support behind him. Then again that would cut into time that could be spent going on Youtube to find moronic videos to use after every post and we wouldnt want that.

      • dueman - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:07 AM

        bsaures – I’m hoping you’re not Canadian either with your simpleton view of things. Blom isn’t making a political statement here. All he is saying (in his own way of course) is that he hopes that the Olympics go off without anybody getting hurt or worse. Maybe you should put that University education to use and use that “wonderful tool of Google” to look up “reading comprehension.”

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Support Putin, Blom?? Talk about seriously uneducated!

        As I’ve written before, I’ve been to Russia. The Russian people are wonderful and kind. That they manage not only to live, but to thrive in that country astounds me, and it speaks volumes as to their endurance and spirit.

        Putin is a thug of the worst kind. He is corrupt beyond anyone’s imagination, and the Russian people know this. I have knowledge, but not an opinion to share here, of how he is handling the Muslim separatists.

        That the Ukrainians are now having deadly protests due to the Ukraine’s decision to cast its lot with Mother Russia rather than with Europe and the west says a lot about how Russia’s own neighbors see Putin.

        I’ve written before (and have been criticized for it) that the Olympic committee made a serious mistake in awarding Russia the Olympics. That it has come to contingency plans should violence erupt (when violence erupts) indicates what a stupid decision that was.

        P.S. bsaures – I’m not entirely certain Blomfeld is ‘American’ in the USA-American sense. He might, though, be American in the North American sense.

    • charlieconway96 - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      0_be39e_dc3c9b77_L.gif (440×250)

  5. 180star32 - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    The NHL has a responsibility to itself, it’s players and their families, to keep them safe from unreasonable risks as do other countries and organizations. I believe that the NHL and other athletic commissions would be more than happy to draw massive amounts of criticism for removing athletes from the games if preventative action is necessary, rather than dealing with the aftermath of something terrible.

    Here’s to hoping all athletes have a Safe, Memorable and Enjoyable experience no matter where they are from.

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    If the NHL pulls out it will be because of very serious security issues, if that happens I think the bigger question will be whether we should send any athletes rather than what hockey players will go.

  7. stakex - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    Yeah, the only way the NHL will pull out is if something really bad happens in the next 10 days…. and if something bad happens, the NHL will be far from the only ones pulling out.

  8. onmedea - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    The athletes will be fine. It’s more the support personnel – Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and such that are in danger – at least that’s what 88 year old blogger Lester Aldrich says (and he’s never wrong):

  9. muckleflugga - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:23 AM


    yeah say … crazy

    putin’s damn near as bad as the bush family … murder incorporated in defence of family oil interests … since we’re on the subject of genocide

    the united states government deployed its armies to eradicate north american aboriginals … if they couldn’t starve them they simply hunted them down –men women and children– then murdered them enmasse

    wow like …


    • blomfeld - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:42 AM


      Flugga … please remember that ‘every’ country in the world was founded on the spilling of blood, usually someone else’s … here in Canada back in the 1700’s, my own bloodlines gave blankets laced with ‘smallpox’ to freezing and displaced First Nations people, which constituted the first ever use of biological warfare on a grand scale ‘post’ Jesus. All are guilty and none are innocent.

      • bsaures - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:32 AM

        First of that was the British and eventually American government not Canadian. The incident you are discussing supposedly happened during the French- Indian war when Canada wasnt a country and would not be for another 100 years. Second it wasnt the first time the USA had given the natives smallpox through contact several times before that and the Spanish before them. Third for the most part it was unintentional the native Americans simply had no immunity to a disease that many Europeans carried but had become immune to. A few blankets that may or may have not been distributed would not be enough to kill off millions of Natives it happened from the constant contact the two groups had through trade and war. The natives gave the Europeans diseases as well just with our stronger immune systems the casualty rate was much lower

      • blomfeld - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:14 AM


        Yes Bsaures (bizarre), I’m very familiar with the Seven Years War here in the Canadas, so save the lecture eh ? Nonetheless, my very own bloodlines were guilty of genocide back in the day, as were yours and everyone else’s if you go back far enough in time. Struggle and conflict are the essence of life in nature and that sadly comes at the expense of those who are weaker and less fortunate, more often than not. It’s the way it is and there’s likely little that we can ever do to change that. In the meantime however, kindly have your forward French observers note that a detachment of HM Cold Stream Guards have now moved into position to thwart any/all further advances that you people might wish to make ! :)

      • bsaures - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:42 AM

        While I dont doubt your families rascist and ignorant past you seem to be a culmination of there is a huge difference in unintentionally giving a disease to a group of people who by simply coming within a few miles of a area the Europeans had visited could contract the disease and a man who personally ordered his soldiers to bomb murder and then bury in mass graves thousands even possibly million of his own citizens and neighbours.

        To call Smallpox genocide would be the same as calling the black plague that hit Europe genocide which it wasnt. Many Europeans did die of Smallpox while in North America as well it wasnt just Natives who died.

        Your argument is pointless and moronic. Yes genocide has happened in history we dont cheer and support the indivduals who played a key role in it do we?(apparently you do). We dont commend the jobs these men and women did we condem them in history lessons like they should be. Putin when all said and done will join the ranks of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and other notable mass murders in the history books but your cool with him.

  10. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    I’m sorry but safety concern for the athletes is far more important than winning a gold medal. Let’s ask this; Would you go to a place that has a high possible chance of a terrorist attack? My guess is that answer would be no! It would be a major shame if any athlete got hurt or possibly killed all because of a terror attack. I just want all to be safe.

  11. muckleflugga - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    relax …

    the american government and barack obama and john kerry were played like fools on the syria threat … by putin and russia … everyone worldwide were laughing behind their hands at the naiveté … going into a knife fight empty handed

    american republicans were laughing loudest …

    you know you messed the bed when republicans have anything to laugh about … look at fox if you want to explore the depths of the american outhouse by way of republican ideology

    when the u.s. is caught-out … time and again … the spin merchants spin in counter to offset embarrassment … american politics incarnate

    the russian gay issue … barack swallowed the bait whole … who cares if they send billie jean king … why is she relevant beyond being used for political purposes … a pawn … putin had them dancing yet again … what’s left

    terrorism … ?

    the greatest gift to the united states military industrial complex and big print media and big network media … parasites living and feeding on death and destruction

    but exploitation of the olympic games in exaggerating threat with no more foundation than rumour is disgraceful conduct even by american political standards

    how can anyone plan contingencies based on rumour … ask barack’s speech writers … they know


  12. muckleflugga - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:28 AM


    worthy sentiments all … but

    i travel in the united states summer and winter … i travel in other countries extensively … traveling is becoming tighter and more dangerous everywhere

    looking at significant terrorist events, it appear americans are targeted as often as not … domestic and otherwise … perhaps americans should simply crawl into a shell and cease to exist outside their national interests … ?

    terrorism wins when we let it dictate the way we think and behave … it’s imperative the olympics continue … with americans and canadians … with gays and straights

    free of politics and political interference and omnipresent war-mongering

    fear merchants

  13. bleedblackhawkred - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    OOPS, I thought I was gonna be talking ’bout hockey. Must have hit a wrong key or somethin’.

  14. muckleflugga - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:11 AM


    without lapsing into a debate on anthropology, it can be argued many civilizations existed without violence or war … when either occurred, it was typically in reaction to violence brought to them … or in reaction to need for food gathering during famine

    many bronze age and later archeological digs demonstrate little in the way of weaponry or skeletal remains indicating death by violent means

    my argument was directed at those who point fingers regarding terrorism while standing on land taken by terrorism … we’re no better in canada

    we’re currently making reparation to first nations peoples for a systemized cultural genocide instituted by the church … residential schools designed to take the savage out of the savage … by shirt lifters … supported in the beginning by our first conservative government and first prime minister … john a macdonald

    if we were to honour treaties, some measure of healing might follow yet

    growing development in the alberta tar sands and effluent from the tar sands is in continuing violation of long established treaties with first nations peoples … stephen harper and his conservative government continue to violate those treaties … with impunity …. political terrorism

    while playing toad to chinese and american oil interests … net gain for alberta … less than five percent of take

    net gain for first nations … a stinking toxic cesspool and cancer death rate ten times the national average

    the alberta advantage … ?

  15. muckleflugga - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:12 AM


    read the blog

  16. jweipp17 - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    The NHL’s plan should be to hold the tournament in a few of its 30 empty arenas.

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