The most popular sport in the winter Olympic games is men’s hockey.
The 2018 event in South Korea had already suffered a set back with the withdrawal of NHL players. Now a state-sponsored doping scandal means there won’t be a men’s hockey team to play under the Russian flag.
Men’s hockey, by far and away, will still be the most watched Olympic sport in North America in 2018 — but it won’t be the same.
This may present a lucrative opportunity for the NHL.
In 2016, the National Hockey League brought back “The World Cup of Hockey” after a 12-year hiatus. Opinions on the event were mixed, but it made money for the NHL and the players association.
If men’s Olympic hockey continues to be marginalized, what’s stopping the NHL from staging the World Cup of Hockey in countries around the world?
I would be fine with that. The league that employs the best players in the world, and the players who play in it, should reap the benefits of a nation-on-nation, best-on-best tournament.