Sidney Crosby disappointed by NHL's Olympics stance

"Somebody going to tell me, like, don't go, I don't care - I just go", the Washington Capitals superstar said. If Leonsis allows Ovechkin to play in the Olympic games, how does that decision effect other owners?

"It's extremely disappointing. We want to be there, it's good for the league, good for everybody, good for the owners, good for the players, and good for expanding the game". I think for players, going to the Olympics is a privilege. "Can't say anyone should be surprised at this point".

"When you begin negotiations and things like that, I really thought something was going to be able to get worked out and unfortunately that's not the case", Crosby said. But players throughout the league said Tuesday that they're hoping it's just a bit of posturing by the NHL, that with 10 months until the Pyeongchang games, there's still time to salvage it.

Although the NHL's announcement did not appear to allow for any wiggle room, Ovechkin said he won't believe the door is completely closed until the 2018-19 National Hockey League schedule is announced...and he sees for himself that there's no break in February. I agree with the players association that calls their decision not to participate in the Olympics short-sighted.

The NHL is made up of 30 teams, and there are so many talented players who certainly would love to play their sport in the Olympics. The players, who came out on the short end of the 2012-13 lockout, rejected it. "You can say whatever. Obviously, they (NHL) wanted more money or whatever; we do not know what they really wanted", International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said.

It's awful for the sport, not just because of the big-picture opportunity lost but because of what it might do to future labor negotiations.

Reaction was mostly fiery to the NHL's decision not to halt the 2017-18 season for players to attend the 2018 Olympics. Though disappointed in and critical of the league's stance, Toews said he would not disobey its wishes and play in the Games anyway. "That doesn't happen very often to get that chance". The 30-year-old spent eight seasons in Russian Federation before he signed with the Canadiens last summer. As I ranted on Twitter yesterday I received one response that really encapsulated it all, why can't they simply not figure out how to share? I think fans, bloggers and media are making a much bigger deal out of this being a mistake than it needs to be. NBA players participate in the basketball event in the Summer Games during that league's off-season.

"It was probably the biggest honor of my life being picked for that team, just alone", Duchene said.

"Yeah, for sure (I'd go), but there's a lot of circumstances, like if Pittsburgh lets me go, all of those talks", Kuhnhackl said. When word arose that an agreement might not emerge for the 2018 Olympics, Washington's Alex Ovechkin became the most prominent of stars to suggest he might compete in South Korea, regardless of what happens with the National Hockey League.

No one seems happy about the decision. But if the decision holds, it could make for some compelling drama next winter - and then again in the fall of 2019.

The NHL decision will impact nearly every major hockey-playing nation since the Swedish, Finnish, Russian, U.S. and Canadian teams are nearly entirely comprised of NHL representatives.

  • Zachary Reyes