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NIPS® asked in SportsHockey · 1 decade ago

Nipsy's 200th Question! After the 2010 Olympics should the NHL stop breaking for the Olympics (read on)?

Do you think the games would have more meaning AGAIN?(yes I liked it when NON-Pros played, you youngens might not have any recollection of it... but games were much more exciting without the PRO's)

I am all for AHLers, OHLers, NCAAers, etc........ Would you be in favor of it?

Do you think owners will vote to stop breaking for the Olympics? It is a risk for them, if say Crosby or Ovie went out with an injury playing in the Olympics .... how many will get hurt and affect their NHL teams stretch run next winter?

If your answer is NO they should stop the NHL still, WHY?... Do you watch the World Jrs? Arent they exciting and have a lot of meaning with younger guys representing their countries?

Anyways... discuss????


Sharksnu... So the Miracle on Ice had no meaning?

Update 2:

Sharksnu... supposing Joe Thornton goes down for the rest of the NHL season and the playoffs while playing in the Olympics! Wouldnt that just kill the Sharks...............Oh never mind, it wont matter, Joe never shows up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs anyways!

20 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    The problem with your argument is that as far as the IOC was concerned, for years, the only professional leagues were in North America, Sven Johansson played in several Olympics for Sweden while making $60,000 a year to play hockey (at the time only a handful of NHLers made more). Erich Kuhnhackl played for Germany in several Olympics.....despite turning down Million Dollar offers from Montreal and the Rangers in the 1970s because it would have been a cut in pay. Peter Statsny was paid $45,000 a year in the Czech Republic in 1979-80 (average NHL salary was just over $52K).....but was still an amateur for Olympic purposes in 1980.

    When the Olympic movement was created, the best amateur athletes had day jobs. But make no mistake, de Coubertin wanted the BEST athletes in the Olympics.

    In 1936, Jesse Owens made over $30,000 USD as an athlete (the average US worker made $2700) but because his day job was student. During those Olympics, Jesse Owens became the first sponsored athlete when Adi Dassler asked Jesse to wear his shoes (courtesy of Reuters, November 8, 2005).

    So, you need to be able to define 'amateur', and then you have to reconcile De Coubertin's desire to have the best athletes compete.

    No easy task.

    Bob - One of Hockey Canada's issues in the late 60s was the growing number or professional players in the European Leagues. At the time, Canada had the WHL and NHL as two primary professional leagues with the AHL below them. All were 'tainted' as professional by the IOC. While the players I listed above were extroardinary players and commanded NHL type salaries in their respective leagues, the fact was that by the late 60s, all the players playing in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy, etc were receiving wages to play hockey. It was already becoming an alternative to players who couldn't make the NHL.

    Canada's line of reasoning at the time was NOT having NHL/WHL players play, but having AHLers represent us at the World Championships. The difficulties associated with all North American leagues playing in February never made that an option for the Olympics.

    One of the moves that finally tipped the scales in Hockey Canada's favour was Germany's Kuhnhackl turning down a 4 year $4MM contract from the New York Rangers in January 1975 as 'I'd have to take a paycut'. The performance of the 72 Russians (whom Hockey Canada had already convinced the IOC was not a bunch of military personnal who had a hockey hobby) and Kuhnhackl's revalation opened up the eyes of the IIHF and IOC. The IIHF moved to allow professionals to play in IIHF sanctioned tournaments beginning with the 1976 Canada Cup (co sanctioned by the NHLPA) and the 1977 World Championships.

    In 1983, Canada made the decision to allow minor professionals to play for the 1984 Olympic team. Roughly the same time, a Russian player (Bykov?? Bobrov??) was arrested for being drunk in Finland. He told the judge that his profession player. In January 1984, the IOC and IIHF decided that the only professional league in world was the NHL and it's direct affiliates (Frank Orr wrote a great column in the Toronto Star and the Hockey News at the time) and that the WHA was as amateur as any league in Europe. This ended up cutting two players from the 1984 team (one being Chicago farmhand Don Dietrich) but allowing several Finns and Swedes who had played in the WHA (but not the NHL) to play.

    In 1987 it was made moot as the IOC finally allowed Olympic teams to use players with NHL experience, and Canada chose to use the aging James Peplinski because of his Calgary connection. In 1988, Reijo Ruotsalainen of Finland became the first player to win an Olympic medal AFTER winning a Stanley Cup ring

    Source(s): LITY's rant of the evening!
  • 1 decade ago

    I keep changing my mind on this one. The idea of the best against the best was something I dreamed about as a kid. However the Olympic ideal is amateur athletes, in fact having these pros there does take away from the rest of the athletes there - the true Olympians.

    I am going to say No, end the experiment for the following reasons,

    1) the Olympics are about amateur athletics

    2) risk of injury- I'm sure Ottawa fans remember Hasak. If the Olympics were in the fall maybe but just before the playoff run- the timing is bad.

    3) I enjoyed the hockey more when the pros weren't there. Now Canada is expected to win and its a disappointment if they don't. In the old days we were underdogs and I enjoyed it more.

    4) Some of the young guys would stay out of the NHL an extra year and play with the national team, then join the club that drafted them after the games. This would also create hype for the NHL. Ie similar to Joe juneau in 92 and brian savage in 94.

    5) As it is now many of the guys there are not giving 100% anyway because of the fear of injury.

    We could still do the world cup to get the best of the best playing in the fall when injury is not as critical.

  • Congrats on 200 asked Nips

    I personally will watch the Olympics not matter whom are playing as I love to watch them and am an admitted Olympic junkie.. But as other have stated the games have not had true amateurs in them in a very long time. Many participants have been paid to play . The games are supposed to be the best athletes in the sport participating in them . That would say NHL players as it is supposedly the pinnacle of the sport . The World Jr's Have there place as well. They do have there place. But it is supposed to be the best of the best . So no matter if they do pull out and go back to College players , I will watch anyway.

    The Miracle had much meaning to me . But in today's world , People want the instant best of the best . That is why in Basketball they send the dream team . Now Hockey countries are doing the same as well.

    Also what would you do with the women's game? Many of the women are playing Pro . They are getting paid to play.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, they should, the Olympics should be for amateur sport.

    No, they would not have more meaning AGAIN........the games were much more exciting WITHOUT the pros? Blasphemy!! Wow, how can you say that inferior is better? I actually know where you are coming from and I have a theory about this........the Olympics HAVE lost their appeal, both summer and winter BUT when you and I were "youngens" and the Olympics rolled around, we had a choice of watching the Olympics or the Olympics (maybe some local news) on our little TV, instead of watching the bobsledders, we have choices......lots and lots of choices.

    I am NOT for AHLer's either or ECHLers or ANY PRO.....amateur only and that is defined by not getting a paycheck so NCAA and whatnot would be fine.

    I think the owners might not have a choice and it may not even get that far......the 2014 Olympics are in Russia so there is a good chance nobody wants any part of that, with the tension on transfer agreements and whatnot over the past few years.

    Sure it is a risk but they insure their investments and I think in most cases the players cover the premium........pretty hard to tell a guy he can't represent his country. Remember, many of these owners are fans far as Sidney would be pretty hypocritical for his owner to tell him to not compete internationally since he himself (Mario) did at one time. Injuries can happen can't worry about that.

    My answer is NO because as I said, Olympics are intended for the best of AMATEUR sport. Not pro. Also, it is unfair and stupid.....the allow hockey and basketball, yet a pro boxer cannot fight in the Olympics after his first payday? How does that make any sense? Either all or none atleast!!

    The World Juniors are a tradition in my household.........once again, something pure about just playing for your flag BEFORE you are ruined by the money. PURITY!

    As far as The different would that have been with Canada's best there?

    If Mike Richards or Simon Gagne or whomever got hurt during the tourney......well, that is life. I wouldn't dwell on it, neither would a good team.

    Source(s): LITY.......those guys were paid and played?? I did not know that. Tom.....As I said.........boxers CANNOT compete after turning pro..........neither can figure skaters! So, LITY's list really surprises me. ALSO are damn right I would suggest that the dream team not be allowed to compete...........Does MLB send their best?? Although many are former pros?? To me.........just make it even across the board......but don't say it would just be hockey players. Elvis Stojko could not figure skate in the Olympics now....Oscar De LaHoya could not box. They are ineligible. Furthermore Tom.......the Olympics are meant to be the best athletes in the world? I is intended to be the best AMATEUR atletes in the world. LITY...Coubertin's vision was to have the best amateurs though......????? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894 on the initiative of a French nobleman, Pierre Fredy, Baron de Coubertin. His vision was to bring together amateur athletes from around the world to compete in a variety of events. ***** Tom....if the Olympics are so profitable then why do boxers and figure skaters insist on turning pro and spoiling their eligibility? (Although Michael Phelps may disagree but of course I don't think there are pro swimmers) The FACT of the matter is, it should be for AMATEURS.......once you start doing it that, the government is taxing you, it is your should be SKATERS-BOXERS-SOCCER-BASEBALL etc....OR include Pro baseballers-skaters-boxers etc........I lean toward the exclusion because the PURPOSE of the Olympics is the best OF AMATEUR SPORT...and no, I don't consider sponsorship as income. While it takes from the allows the athletes to survive. I have friends who were "carded" boxers......which means they got government support........they still needed jobs on top of that, it just offset it. Hell.....IMO even that is bending the rules, it should only be amateur.....pros get their spot in the sun. Takes away from the purity!!!!!!!! Also Tom.......carded skiiers DO indeed get funding to offset their costs for training. TOM......JOHN LANDY?? Perhaps you should do a search sometime on a Cuban boxer named Felix Savon......THREE HEAVYWEIGHT gold medals.........HOW is this possible? Because he is CUBAN.........can't go to the U.S (anywhere) to become a pro BECAUSE of that so he kept BOXING AS AN you think he would have won those second and third gold medals against other MEN his age so easily?? Why didn't he FIGHT AGAINST THE BEST?? Because the BEST WERE NOT THERE because they TURNED PRO!! So..........if you think it is gone completely to the wayside, you are smoking some serious drugs!!
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  • 1 decade ago


    Mr Nips, I see one huge hole in your argument, who is a pro. If you only limit it to none NHL teams won't that hurt N America as European and Russian teams would still have mid level talent. It would also hurt bringing talent to the NHL as many non N. Americans look at international competition to be more important then a Stanley Cup, where as we grew up seeing the Cup as the primary trophy.

    If you call it pros and lay down qualification on what a pro is you run the risk of another red army team, a state sponsored team.

    I think the Olympics in any sport should be the best available athletes. As you put it the World Jr's are exciting, but they are just that Jr's. Would you rather see Tavares or Crosby on the ice if you are Canadian and this was an Olympic year.

    Thank You

  • I've long thought that the way forward for this is to copy what soccer (or football, for our non-North American friends) does for their Olympic tournament.

    By that, make it an age-specific tournament. Maybe something along the lines of an under-23 event and give each country 2 or 3 overage players. The pure folly is when you have a WJC event in Dec/Jan, the Olympic in Feb, and the World Championships in Apr/May all in one year.

    The problem, as it were, is that the Olympics is a shop window that gets more attention than any other sporting event. For the NHL to ignore that is myopic at best.

    The other have to have the players participating in things like Opening Ceremonies.

  • 1 decade ago

    I never really liked the idea of pros playing, but it did make it a little more interesting to watch, when you know more of the players. I dont like the idea of losing a player from my team, with an injury caused in the Olympics. I would like to see it go back to the way it was, and let some of the younger guys, have a shot they wouldnt get to have in this system.

  • 1 decade ago

    I like watching the Pros play. I'm too young to remember when it was played by non-pros, but I like watching the guys play for their country, rather than their team. You're so used to the NHLers playing for their team, but I think it's nice when players of other teams get together and play for their country. I think playing for ones country is more important than playing for the team they're paid to play on.

    Also, isn't the point of the Olympics to play against the best? The best are in the NHL, so I think that the pros should play.

  • 1 decade ago

    Why should hockey be the only sport at the Olympics where the best athletes don't compete? I'll bet none of you would suggest that the "Dream Team" doesn't compete in the Olympics. Would you watch the world's fastest amateur sprinters compete for a gold medal. Winning time in the hundred metres would be a stunning 10.06 seconds.

    Maybe Bill and Joe from down the beach in Volleyball maybe a pickup game of water polo? The Olympics are the best athletes in the world's sports. The only exceptions are baseball and football (soccer), The skiers are professionals, the figure skaters are professionals, the runners and jumpers are professionals. Why would you exclude Hockey as a game to be played by amateurs?

    Quick who won the gold medal in soccer at the last Olympics? We don't know or care but we know who won the World Cup.

    The Olympics are meant to be the best in the world don't cheapen them by sending a second rate team.

    Second comment *************************

    The value of the gold medal for winning the 100 metres is approximately $5,000,000. not bad for a 10 second burst of amateurism. Ben Johnson (who was stripped of his medal for steroids) hasn't found it necessary to hold a day job. Donovan Bailey hasn't punched a clock since he quit his part time job at Loblaws (nice name by the way). These amateurs were and still are considered amateurs.

    The Crazy Canucks ski all year round. The government stipend wouldn't pay for their ski wax let alone their lift tickets. Ever notice that when a skier wins a race he hold up his poles, skis, helmet, and goggles. Guess who pays his way. Sports quits being amateur as soon as someone picks up the bill. My son ran with a number of runners on the Canadian team when they were juniors. The good ones never needed to buy track spikes. The thought that amateur athletes exist at a high level today went out of fashion with John Landy's rise to fame.

    Third comment ***************************************

    The reason I brought up John Landy is because Roger Bannister was the last true amateur athlete. Landy was paid to run as was Coe and most of the others since.

    Savon fought as an amateur because he couldn't afford to take a pay cut if he left Cuba. The same with Sotomayor, he was a true amateur who never did anything but high jump. Not even was he required to march while in the Army.

    The calling the professional Athletes in state run countries amateur cheapens the sport.

    The Olympics was a genuine heartfelt ideal in the days of Chariots of Fire and Ned Hanlon. But when Hitler decided to make it political all rules were off.

    When my son was competing in track and field we knew a number of the Canadian team members. The government award made it impossible to compete as amateurs. In order to get the money you had to be a full time athlete. In order to live and eat you had to get other money. Thus sponsorships were born. The only true amateurs at the winter olympics are the NHL hockey players and the Canadian curlers. They don't get paid to participate. In fact the "own the podium awards" that they might qualify for they roll them back to their associations.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Maybe pros who are in their first 2 years but otherwise I think the Olympics should be for amateurs. The pros already have their glory, let some of the people who can't make it to that level shine in the spotlight for a little. The Canada Cup should be enough for the pros.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am going to go with the mold on my favorite arguing guy for his 200th Q.

    Yes, I would like the Olympics to be kids.

    I think the owners would like the non-stop NHL hockey schedule, for injury sake....and medal sake (some player have to stay for medal celebrations). Other players can also lose winning streaks.

    I love the World Jrs. Thank goodness for the Internet, or I would never get to see them.

    I like it how it was with non-pros. I guess I am a old fart.

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