Reports are saying that the NHL does not want to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Arguments against the Olympics include, the risk of injury and stopping the season for two weeks in the middle of the season. But there’s a flip side to the argument. It’s often not heard, and disregarded as well. So before you completely disregard this, give it a read and think about it, maybe I have a point.
For The Growth Of The NHL
A wise man once said, “Any publicity is good publicity.” When the NHL sends its players over for the Olympics, it’s players are usually the best players in the world. Any casual Olympic sports watcher names the best players only. The best players are usually the NHL’ers. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The NHL is the best league in the world. If the NHL stops participating in the Olympics, the best league in the world participating can arguably be the KHL. The average person might only watch hockey in the Olympic, and who are they watching? KHL’ers. According to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal, the NHL’s goal is to have $1B in new revenue over the next 3 years (read more here: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2013/09/09/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/NHL-reorg.aspx). Any sane businessman will tell you if you want to gain that kind of revenue in that short period, you’re going to need to bring in new customers. So how does the NHL bring in “new customers”? They have shows like 24/7, have more outdoor games, and do more marketing. The Olympics is a form of marketing. The players are front and center, and put on a pedal stool. St. Louis Blues forward TJ Oshie is a great example. After his shootout heroics, he has 45,000 new Twitter followers. On a conservative estimate, let’s say one out of every 200 of these new followers buy a Oshie jersey that retails for about $150. That’s $33,750. That’s 225 jerseys. You and I both know he will sell more than 225 jerseys after the Olympics are done. Well some may argue we can do that with the proposed World Cup of Hockey! Let me put it in perspective. How many of you watch the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships? The number I predict isn’t many. However, how many of you watched it in the Olympics? A lot more than the previous one. The NHL needs to stay in the Olympics to help the brand grow.
Ironic isn’t it? The day Garth Snow loses it because John Tavares is out for the season, you read an article about why the Olympics actually PREVENT injuries. Yes there are many injuries due to the Olympics (Tavares, Barkov, Kopecky, etc.), but what about the players who do not go to the Olympics? They’re at home taking a break. Ask any athlete, during the season they will have many bumps and bruises that aren’t serious enough to prevent them from competing, but it may hinder their performance. However, with a two-week break between games, it’s a great time to get some rest and heal up on some of those minor injuries. This can help out later on in the season and even the playoffs when players are battling multiple injuries. Sure you will lose a few players due to injury in the Olympics, but many players who aren’t going to the Olympics are being given a few weeks to rest up so they can play their best in the homestretch of the season. Also, what evidence is there to prove that John Tavares could have injured himself the moment he got on to the ice the moment he got back from the Olympics? There is none. I’m not saying that Garth Snow is wrong, but I believe that the Olympics can be a beneficial time for the rest of the team to rest up. So for the sake of players who aren’t going to the Olympics’ health, the NHL needs to stay in the Olympics.
The Olympics Rosters Should Be Better Than Spengler Cup Rosters
Call it a little selfish, but I’d like if Canada won the gold medal in hockey Olympics. How weak does Team Canada or Team USA become if the NHL does not participate in the Olympics? To put it in perspective, the Spengler Cup is played every year and Canada sends a national team over to participate. The NHL does not participate in the Spengler Cup and often many European and a few AHL teams do not release players to participate in the Spengler Cup, but it’s a good example to compare it against. You have a few AHL’ers, a few veterans, and a few guys playing in Switzerland and other European leagues. Here was the 2013 Spengler Cup Roster: http://stats.hockeycanada.ca/page/show/1051885-canada . Recognize any names? Comment below! Imagine that team playing against the likes of Alexander Radulov, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Alexander Yeryomenko! They would destroy that team! So for the sake of North American fans, the NHL needs to stay in the Olympics.
Those are my arguments. Disagree? Agree? Let us know below! If you’re shy about leaving a comment you can always let us know on Facebook or tweet me @HkyBlogger! One last thing, GO CANADA GO!
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