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Spencer asked in SportsHockey · 1 year ago

in the 1980 "miracle on ice", why were the soviets allowed to have profesional players but the US had college kids?


I mean, the 1992 basketball dream team was the first time basketball proffesionals were allowed. Did hockey have different rules? Even then, why didn't the USA use NHL players?

3 Answers

  • 1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    They weren't actual professionals. They were treated as professionals.

    They were officially members of the Soviet Military. However, their only duty was to live, eat, breath Soviet Union ice hockey.

    They weren't treated as true amateurs who had to pay for their own training, had other activities (school/work) etc.

    The IOC elected to allow professional athletes in 1986 with 1988 being the first games with professionals. The individual sports foundations were then allowed to determine if they would allow professionals. The first time basketball allowed this as in 1992. Figure skaters allowed professionals to compete in 1994 but since then it's been sort of a hybrid approach - they can earn money through endorsements, appearance fees, etc but they can't participate in professional skating shows or competitions.

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  • The Soviet players were, technically, members of the Russian Army which (technically speaking) made them amateur as they were not "technically" being paid to play hockey but for their military service.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    First of all the Russian players weren't really professionals, and in a way one can blame the NHL

    for that as they did all they could to prevent players from the Soviet Bloc from joining that league.

    Also at that time, who'd have been able to represent USA from the NHL? Case in point within the

    top 50 pt scorers, one has to go to #24 to find a US born player, Mark Howe (one of Gordie's kids).

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