In all honesty, do you think NHL players really won't play in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=223827&hubname= Just wow. - Okay, what's the real reason behind this... is it because of the strain between the NHL and the Russian Hockey Federation? - Or is it really because of the strain it would be on the players, schedule, and fans? - What would the Olympics... show more http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=223...
Just wow.

- Okay, what's the real reason behind this... is it because of the strain between the NHL and the Russian Hockey Federation?
- Or is it really because of the strain it would be on the players, schedule, and fans?
- What would the Olympics be without some of the players in the NHL?
- How do those players feel about possibly not playing for their country's national team in something as celebrated and honorable as the Olympics??
- Have I exceeded my question limit in one question?
(My apologies for that!)

I can't imagine Ovechkin or Malkin not playing for their country, especially not while it hosts the Olympics. They're players that are very important to the national team.
Update: BOB LOBLAW- Ahhh, I didn't see someone asked about this already. My bad. (Well, let's be honest... I didn't really look. I was going to rant a bit anyway. Haha.) LITY - I agree about North American players, but players like Henrik Lundqvist, a Swede, come to mind... Playing and winning gold for Sweden... show more BOB LOBLAW- Ahhh, I didn't see someone asked about this already. My bad. (Well, let's be honest... I didn't really look. I was going to rant a bit anyway. Haha.)
LITY - I agree about North American players, but players like Henrik Lundqvist, a Swede, come to mind... Playing and winning gold for Sweden was a big deal for him. That Swedish team was stacked though, and he got to play with players like Peter Forsberg, Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Zetterberg... I can see how it probably wouldn't be as much of a thing for North American players, especially Canadians!
But no, I don't see how it would be a strain for the fans in any way... But uh, thanks for including us I guess, Bettman. Lol.
Update 2: LITY - Basically... I wish Bettman explained things like you do, not in a way that makes me ask if there's more to it. Or random things, like "strain" for the fans... Whether or not pros or amateurs play in the Olympics, like you said, ice hockey is a marquis event---I'm still going to watch it!
Update 3: daven71 - I can't imagine a more ridiculous hypothetical situation than Evgeni Malkin sneaking back INTO Russia to play hockey. Haha, that would take the cake.
Update 4: LITY - I respect the Olympics, and understand that the competition is better honored by having the world's greatest amateurs compete. I know some of you feel that way---however, I don't think the NHL reflects that stance AT ALL by allowing its players to play in the Olympics anyway so long as they are... show more LITY - I respect the Olympics, and understand that the competition is better honored by having the world's greatest amateurs compete. I know some of you feel that way---however, I don't think the NHL reflects that stance AT ALL by allowing its players to play in the Olympics anyway so long as they are hosted in North America. Why not disallow it completely then?

There's no tournament where NHL players can play for their country and compete with the best of the best every country has to offer. I wouldn't count the World Championships because, as you know, some of the best of the best are playing in the NHL playoffs. If they had a World Cup of Hockey tournament every 4 years or something, I don't think this dicussion would even take place. That would be ideal.

...Like I said, it'd be ridiculous if Malkin snuck back INTO Russia to play hockey. Although he could have a future as an international spy or something, I suppose. LOL.
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