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...

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 10 5 9 6 14
J. Spezza 10 4 7 2 11
C. Eakin 10 1 7 2 8
P. Sharp 10 4 2 1 6
R. Faksa 10 3 2 2 5
A. Goligoski 10 3 2 -5 5
P. Eaves 7 2 3 3 5
J. Klingberg 10 1 3 -3 4
A. Hemsky 10 1 3 -1 4
M. Janmark 9 1 3 -1 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 5 1 0 .906 2.58
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .872 3.33
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