Brad Marchand is not happy. Nor did Vladimir Tarasenko. And they are not alone.
A handful of NHL players are expressing their dismay at the league’s decision to bar them from participating in the Beijing Olympics. Even though the agreement between the league and the NHL Players Association was contingent on not worsening the pandemic situation and disrupting the season, many say they are upset they were never given the option of leaving.
Marchand, Boston’s top left winger who would have been a shoo-in to Canada’s Olympic roster, ripped off the league and union to bring back the taxi squad to keep the season going, but to give the players the option of moving to Beijing. With not to proceed until February.
“For all of you who want to pipe back about forfeiting pay on the go, (yeah) no problem,” Marchand said In a long Twitter post. “Let the players make their own choices.”
Letting players make individual choices when they leave their NHL teams for the Olympics was never on the table. Marchand and Tarasenko are more likely to be played in football, which allows players to go on loan to national teams for international competition when a season does not stop.
Tarasenko would have been one of Russia’s top forwards at the Olympics and said he would leave the St. Louis Blues to represent his country if given the option.
“Of course,” he said. “You’d be surprised how many people like to go.”
Alex Ovechkin said that he wants to go to the Pyeongchang Games in 2018, even though the NHL did not participate. The Washington Capitals captain relented before training camp in 2017, he and other players to accept the Olympics will go ahead without him and hope that 2022 will be different.
Some look back with sharp anger at the second consecutive Olympics without the NHL in 2018, when the International Olympic Committee will not pay for travel and insurance costs as it did five times from 1998-2014. Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said the players were given the opportunity four years ago.
“Obviously what’s happening in the world this year makes a little more sense,” Stamkos said. “But the last Olympics where we weren’t able to go because of different issues with the NHL, now it stings even more to know that for some of the big guys, this is probably their last chance.”
It was probably the last chance for Stamkos, teammate Victor Heidman, and a generation of NHL players. And while the expansion of the Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a provision for the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina, this year has shown that there should only be pessimism and skepticism until the puck is actually dropped at the Games with NHL players there. Is.
With the next Olympics more than four years away, what about another World Cup of hockey in 2016? Marchand’s teammate Taylor Hall is in favor of it.
“Going forward, I want to see a World Cup format again and try to keep people’s minds as important as the Olympics,” Hall said.
The only problem is that it’s not exactly the same in the minds of the players. As Stamkos pointed out, “The Olympics are the Olympics, and there’s really nothing that can compare to that experience.”
game of the week
Winter classic is back for the first time since New Year 2020. The St. Louis Blues visit the Minnesota Wild Saturday night at Target Field in Minneapolis. Temperatures are forecast to hover around 7 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-14 degrees Celsius) and wind gusts will remain minus -3 during the gust of wind.
Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington said, “I see how cold it’s going to be, but I don’t know how cold it will feel.” “We’re going to do our part layering and do the best we can to be prepared for it.”
Target: Leon Dressital (Edmonton), 23; Assists: Conor McDavid (Edmonton), 32; Issue: Drasitel & McDavid, 49; Snow time: Thomas Chabot (Ottawa), 27:20; Wins: Andrei Vasilevsky (Tampa Bay), 21; Goal-average against (minimum 10 games): Tristan Jari (Pittsburgh), 1.93; Save percentage (minimum 10 games): Igor Shesterkin (NY Rangers), .937.
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