Saturday, 24 June, 2017

Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin says he still plans to play in Pyeongchang

NHL's Oly decision a punch in the gut NHL Making Huge Mistake by Skipping 2018 Olympics
Saul Franklin | 09 April, 2017, 03:11

Alex Ovechkin threatened outright disobedience.

"Instead, the International Olympic Committee has now expressed the position that the NHL's participation in Beijing in 2022 is conditioned on our participation in South Korea in 2018", the league said.

"It's obviously a bad decision, in my opinion", Predators forward Filip Forsberg said Tuesday of the decision to skip the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, adding his voice to a league full of upset players.

"I didn't change my mind and I won't", Ovechkin told reporters Tuesday.

With both the 2018 and the 2022 Winter Games in Asia and the National Hockey League making efforts to tap into the region's lucrative market, the logic behind the decision was lost on Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who plays for the New York Rangers. It's something that, as a player you consider it, but in the end it's hard to say if I'd go or not go.

Players from many different countries expressed their frustration in the wake of the NHL's announcement on Monday. "We still look up to them as being phenomenal hockey players, so to not see them there, I think will be sad". Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in February he expects to be punished if he allows Ovechkin and other players go but would be fine with that. "But in my mind, like I said already, I'm going and it doesn't matter what". "But I know some guys have been vocal about going regardless". This is the NHL's decision, and it's alone. "You have the ability to take the best players to South Korea to grow the game even more", he said. On Tuesday, Alex Ovechkin made it clear that he's going to represent Russian Federation in PyeongChang, anyway. I still hope [the NHL] will let us play.

"If Russia need us of course", 24-year-old Washington centre Evgeny Kuznetsov said, before putting a hand to his chest. We will see if it actually happens now that they say we're not going.

UN strongly condemns North Korea's latest missile launch
It would also bring a host of problems, given the malnourished state of many of North Korea's people and its poor health system. The potential of sports in the private sector was felt during the hockey game between the North and South Korean teams.

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The Bavarians kicked off each half with goals within four minutes to really put Dortmund behind the eight ball. The leaders were 2-0 up in the opening 10 minutes, Franck Ribery's first time shot breaking the deadlock.

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Maybe they'll get a somewhat high pick and a decent player who is a malcontent or a colossal headache. Sherman had an outburst at Pete Carroll on the sidelines during a game in December this season.

The decision will impact nearly every major hockey playing nation with the Sweden, Finland, Russia, United States and Canadian teams nearly entirely made up of NHL players. But, thanks to a recent NHL decision, one of those beloved hockey competitions is quickly deteriorating in quality. Fehr said Tuesday that it was "way, way, way premature" for such talk, adding that players would be well represented if it came to that.

"It was probably the biggest honor of my life being picked for that team, just alone", Duchene said. Numerous players have shared their disappointment, including star goaltender Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. As it stands, Hart Trophy favourite Connor McDavid won't get to represent Team Canada; Auston Matthews won't be able to stand for the star-spangled banner; Patrik Laine won't have a chance to dazzle with the Finns. "It's my country. I think everybody wants to play there". Is Mario Lemieux going to tell Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin that they can't play for their country?

"You have a chance to meet the other athletes and sit with them, and that was cool".

However, Overchkin was the most outspoken of the players, saying he still plans to play for Team Russia in the 2018 Winter Olympics, even if he is the only National Hockey League player to do so.

"For me, it's a great experience to be around NHLers", Rougeau said.

Mark Giordano has been on Canada's scouting list for the past couple of global showdowns, although the Flames captain ultimately didn't crack the roster for the Sochi Olympics or the World Cup. I like Olympic hockey once we get through the obvious mis-matches and into do or die games.

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