Razor With an Edge: The Last Olympics

Thursday, 02.6.2014 / 4:14 PM CT / Razor With An Edge
By Daryl "Razor" Reaugh
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Razor With an Edge: The Last Olympics

"The Winter Olympics; where we learn who is best at all the A-hole rich kid sports" - Julius Sharp

This will be it. The final NHL involvement in the Winter Olympic Games. Mark my words. Why? Business, pure and simple.

Back when the NHLers first competed (Nagano, 1998) the league needed the games for exposure - global branding. That was when Wayne Gretzky was still a player and the Winter Classic had yet to become a thing. It was also when the cycle of awarded Games was about to swing through North America, twice (Salt Lake in ‘02, Vancouver ‘10).

Five Olympics and a couple of lockouts later, the NHL business model has changed, HRR (Hockey Related Revenue) is now king. Shutting down the league for 18 days doesn't produce much HRR. In reality, it costs money. And participating in Olympic Games doesn't drive revenue, nor does it develop the same level of buzz it once did.

Bottom line, the Games have probably worn out their usefulness to the league, and with major security concerns in Sochi coupled with the next Winter Olympiad set for the TV time zone hell of South Korea, the players appetite has most likely waned as well.

This is not to say that elite, NHL/NHLPA sponsored international competition is dead. Far from it. The league and the NHL Players Association just want to profit from it.

Ahhh yes, HRR.

Hence, you will be hearing more and more talk of resurrecting the Canada Cup or World Cup as a for-profit vehicle to have the best players on the planet gather and compete for world supremacy.

Meantime, enjoy the morning action from Russia's 'resort' area in what will be the most expensive Winter Olympics ever. In fact all of the previous WO combined would not equal the cost of Putin's somewhat shambolic Games.

Why so expensive? Because, according to reports, the Russian President's construction and consulting buddies 'got paid'. Which is ironic, since finance is a big reason the NHL and the players are likely to say 'nyet' to future involvement in the Winter Olympic Games.

Of course, I've been wrong before...

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
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11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
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