Well, the NHL appears to have mostly been on some form of postponement over the last week, and for a while it seemed like the Olympics were in total jeopardy.
Well, it looks like the dream of the Olympics might indeed be dead in the water.
Nothing official yet, but a real sense NHL players aren’t headed to the Olympics. Given all the NHL game postponements this past week, no surprise if that’s the final direction.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 20, 2021
Link of NHL/NHLPA joint statements. Unfortunately, Olympics without NHL players appears to be reality, although formal announcement not for a few days https://t.co/WnIzedTtzN— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 19, 2021
This comes on the heels of having most of the games of the past week getting postponed thanks to the Omicron variant of The Thing What Made Graphics Cards Hard to Buy tearing through the NHL like a wildfire in a windy day, with much of Boston’s player-base, particularly several of it’s best, currently in protocol and at one point, one out of every seven NHLers in Protocol.
It appears the plan is to use the proposed 2 week break for the Olympics as a massive makeup period for the league, but any further details are still the subject of rumor and heresay.
It’s obviously a massive disappointment for league vets who were probably hoping to shore up hall of fame arguments, and any young guns who want to achieve an Olympic ambition, but it’s how the cookie crumbles with this goddamn Pandemic; it really doesn’t care how things roll. Given that the CBA agreement given to the players still mentioned the Olympics specifically, this might be merely kicking the can down the road. Still a shame for guys like Steven Stamkos, who will have to keep playing until he’s 40ish to ever be considered for the role.
And if you’re still nostalgic for having a hate-boner for the Rooskies, this will almost assuredly allow the Olympic Athletes from Russia a bid for a gold medal. Hopefully it also gives Germany another chance to shock the world!
Oh, and if you’re wondering about whether or not the league will try to make a World Cup of Hockey to make up for it...don’t hold your breath. It takes a while to set up, and given how ESPN straight-up checked out during the F I N A L G A M E (and of course the reality of the WCoH is that it sucks, and is for a stupid plastic vase), I think they’d rather just wait and acquiesce to allowing the players to go to the 2026 Olympics in Milan. Their Chinese sponsorships and the government will probably be a little annoyed, but I think they’ll manage. They have enough on their plate as-is.
We’ll update this with official word when we get it, and the schedule changes when they come.