In her latest article for ESPN.com, hockey writer Emily Kaplan polled several NHL superstars with a simple question, “What changes would you make to the game and why?” The answers ranged from rules changes, to relocation to escrow and back, but one topic that was on the top of mind’s for a lot of NHL players was Olympic participation.
It’s no secret that the NHL and IOC have sworn each other off, despite the pleas from players and fans alike. There will be no Golden Goal from Sidney Crosby or Dominik Hasek-like performances in Pyoeongchang. So, what do the players think?
Dallas Stars snipers Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, were blunt in their response. “ Let players go to the Olympics,” said Benn. “Yeah, let the boys go play in the Olympics,” followed Seguin. Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson was a little more verbose, “I would have liked to have gone to the Olympics. I don't think that's a rule, but I think that's the one. Other than that, I think the game itself has the appropriate rules that it has always had.”
Emerging superstar Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets is also not happy with the NHL answering, “Go to the Olympics. I was definitely disappointed at that news last year. It's almost like the next best thing. Obviously, we all dream of winning a Stanley Cup, and then the next is literally right there: winning a gold medal for your country.”
Even played who aren’t likely to even suit up want to see the NHL in South Korea. “Let players go to the Olympics,” said Vancouver Canucks blue liner Chris Tanev. “I wouldn't be on the team, but I'm sure a lot of guys would like to be there.”