It was not announced that NHL players would withdraw from the Olympic hockey tournament Tuesday night. However, everything indicates that the International Ice Hockey Federation will have to delegate replacement staff to Beijing.
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Moreover, the more days passed, the more skaters got used to the Pittman circuit that they would have to give up this championship for the second time in a row.
“It just doesn’t look good, Sidney Crosby agreed, Tuesday, during a press conference in Pittsburgh. I don’t want to look too far, but there are a lot of uncertainties right now. We’ll see what happens.”
Author of Vancouver’s Golden Goal in 2010, Crosby was also part of the 2014 Sochi Champion’s roster. The involvement of NHL players has always been important to the Captain of the Penguins.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, the Cole Harbor skater revealed that he acted as a lobbyist to persuade circuit authorities to send his troops to the Olympics after refusing to do so for Pyeongchang in 2018.
It will be hard to digest the NHL’s impending retirement announcement for No. 87.
“It will be disappointing. This will be the second time in a row that we have been denied [du tournoi olympique] ‘, he pointed out.
last chance ?
We tend to forget about it, but “Sid the kid” is no longer a nickname that sticks well enough. At the age of thirty-four, he is no longer in the prime of life. Aware of this reality, he realizes that the Beijing Olympics may be his last lap on the Olympic stage.
“Postponing the Games for a year, as was the case in the summer, may be the best case scenario. But the chances are slim [que ça arrive]. »
McDavid is still waiting
Even if he never returns, Crosby will always have two Olympic gold medals in his trophy room as a reminder of his two appearances at the Games. The joy that young hockey players like Canadian Conor McDavid, American Auston Matthews or even kicker Thomas Chabot, who is on Team Canada’s shortlist, have yet to experience.
I sympathize with those who missed some opportunities. It is not an event that takes place every year. I can’t say you’ll grow a few more months [pour te reprendre l’an prochain]Crosby noted. Games are an opportunity and an experience of a lifetime that doesn’t come along often. Sometimes it’s just a one-time chance. “
Nothing like Vancouver
Patrick Kane was approved as a member of the US Olympic team in 2010 and 2014.
Silver medalist in Vancouver and fourth in Sochi, the Chicago Blackhawk forward sees another chance to climb to the top of the Olympic podium that may slip through his fingers.
“I am 33 years old. You have emphasized throughout your career that you want to play as much as possible.”
Despite his dream of winning an Olympic gold medal, Kane finds it hard to imagine himself trapped inside a bubble for a few weeks in China.
“I don’t know if it will be a real Olympic experience because of the bubble and all the worries,” he said. Vancouver was simply amazing. I don’t have the impression that the experience will come close to what we experienced in 2010.”
‘The right decision’
His captain Jonathan Toews says he fully understands the reluctance some NHL colleagues have shown.
“The players will prioritize their health, their families and their team ahead of the Beijing Olympics and unexpected scenarios,” Franco Manitoban said.
“Yes, the Olympics are great in terms of the visibility they bring to hockey. However, skipping a lap would be the right decision to make.”
Also a member of the 2010 and 2014 Canadian teams, the 33-year-old center is not in contention for a position this time around. Therefore, speaking in favor of withdrawing players from the NHL is arguably a little easier.
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