When it comes to players voicing their frustration with the NHL over its decision not to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, we’re not even at the tip of the iceberg. We’ve basically just spotted one through the binoculars. There’s going to be some much more chilly shade thrown at the League in the coming months (even if, as we’ve written before, it’s not necessarily warranted).
This week, two prominent Canadian players took to Twitter to poke the bear. San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Édouard Vlasic, who won gold with Team Canada in Sochi, tweeted a video of the 2018 Olympics medals at the NHL with the message “Beautiful, right?”
Vlasic, it should be said, has been on the NHL for most of the year about the Olympic decision, including an open letter he penned in June for Radio-Canada:
“I’m not taking this stance solely for myself,” Vlasic wrote. “Hockey careers are so short that it’s very possible the absence of the NHL in Pyeongchang removes any chance for certain guys to play in the Olympics, simply because this creates an eight-year gap between two participations. For a professional hockey player, eight years is too long.”
This is sadly true, and it makes you feel for players who are, say, pushing 30 and might be in the prime of their careers when it comes to Olympic participation.
Players like Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who joined the pile-on:
I'm sure no one in the NHL wanted one of these https://t.co/fm59Y2FD1q
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) September 22, 2017
Again, this is the guy that’s been totally shafted in the NHL’s war with the IOC: The player who hasn’t gotten the chance to play for his nation in the Olympics, and has worked his rump off to become the kind of elite talent that deserves that shot.
Especially when that player is Canadian, and thus knows they will collect a gold medal with the ease of someone taking a free sample of quinoa salad at a Trader Joe’s.
At least until Auston and Jack lead the American stranglehold on international hockey glory.