The NHL's Olympics decision costs Team USA shot at gold

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The NHL's Olympics decision costs Team USA shot at gold

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In sports, there are champions. They're quite happy, what with the celebrations and the historic achievements and all. Then there are teams that are defeated so others can win championships. Depending on the expectations, they're either content to have had the opportunity, or miserable for having blown one.
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But then there's a third category, which makes the melancholy of a runner-up look like the glint of a kitten's smile by comparison: those teams that know, wholeheartedly, they could have won a championship but had the opportunity ripped away from them.
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Not by an ill-timed injury or terrible officiating, because those things happen. No, by a bunch of gluttonous suits putting arguments about money over responsibility to sport, athletes and fans. People who restrict players from playing, or end seasons altogether, because of financial issues.
Which is why we lament the Montreal Expos of 1994, whose championship run was halted by the players' strike that ended the season, or any number of teams -- the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils among them -- that never had a chance to win the 2004-05 Stanley Cup due to Gary Bettman's lockout.
It is better to have played and lost than to have never played at all. Thus, there's nothing worse than knowing that the U.S. men's national Olympic ice hockey team was probably, finally going to win the tournament this year -- and that's been ripped away from us.
The NHL's decision to pull out of the 2018 Winter Olympics pulled a gold medal [url=http://www.lionsshopnfl.com/Authentic-Ricky-Wagner-Jersey]Ricky Wagner Jersey[/url] off the necks of the Americans. I can see this as vividly as any Montrealer in the mid-1990s could see Pedro Martinez covered in champagne in the Expos' post-World Series clubhouse. This cosmic alignment among generations of star players has been a decade in the making and might never happen again."It's pretty disappointing, obviously," said Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, the 20-year-old American phenom who would have been the team's No. 1 center. "We have a lot of young Americans in the NHL now. It would have been nice to play with them."
The NHL has been sending players to the Olympics since 1998. Its owners have grown more flustered with each Olympiad because they don't see the value in shutting down their season for two weeks and sending their assets to the Winter Games in order to make someone else money.
They are essentially correct in this assessment: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) gets all the shine from NHL stars but doesn't share its spotlight with the NHL itself. No branding, no logos, no merchandise and certainly not a hint of profit-sharing. So the NHL, not really concerned with the South Korean market to begin with, dug its skates in and asked for IOC concessions. Then it tossed away whatever goodwill it garnered in this fight by immediately turning the issue into a chip in their collective bargaining poker game with the NHL Players' Association, asking them for concessions in exchange for the NHL's acquiescing to those from the IOC.
The [url=http://www.cavaliersproshop.com/Tyrone_Hill_Jersey]http://www.cavaliersproshop.com/Tyrone_Hill_Jersey[/url] carryovers: RW Patrick Kane, with nine points in 12 Olympic Games; RW Phil Kessel, 10 points in 12 Olympic Games; C Joe Pavelski, eight points in 12 Olympic Games; D Ryan Suter, a plus-11 in 12 Olympic Games; then you have Sochi Games goalie Jonathan Quick and Cory Schneider in the net, and NHL vets like James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler, Max Pacioretty and Ryan Kesler to fill out the roster. And if there's a [url=http://www.officiallaramsauthentic.com/Sean-Mannion-Jersey.html]Sean Mannion Jersey[/url] shootout, T.J. Oshie.
The new blood: [url=http://www.eaglesauthenticofficial.com/YOUTH+RASUL+DOUGLAS+JERSEY+1]Authentic Rasul Douglas Jersey[/url] C Auston Matthews, C Jack Eichel, LW Johnny Gaudreau, C Dylan Larkin, C Vincent Trocheck, LW Brandon Saad, D Shayne Gostisbehere, D Seth Jones, D Zach Werenski, D Jacob Trouba, G Connor Hellebuyck. That's without D Charlie McAvoy and F Brock Boeser, rookies that would have also challenged for spots. FDSfdsfsad ... sorry, got some drool on the keyboard and tried to wipe it up.
This would have been the deepest, most talented [url=http://www.texansprosshop.com/Jeff_Allen_Jersey_Cheap]http://www.texansprosshop.com/Jeff_Allen_Jersey_Cheap[/url] collection of centers the Americans would have had since Nagano in 1998, when Mike Modano, Jeremy Roenick and Pat LaFontaine were on the roster. But they didn't have the assemblage of talent on the wings that this team would have had. And they certainly didn't have the mobility on defense that this group has -- there aren't [url=http://www.authenticnikeseahawkshop.com/jon-ryan-jersey-for-sale-c-22.html]http://www.authenticnikeseahawkshop.com/jon-ryan-jersey-for-sale-c-22.html[/url] any Keith Carneys or Derian Hatchers here. op to bottom, the 2018 Team USA squad w
That was the night the Americans nearly did it. Nearly [url=http://authenticoilerstore.com/mark-fayne-jersey_c-433.html]http://authenticoilerstore.com/mark-fayne-jersey_c-433.html[/url] beat the Canadians when it mattered, instead of some preliminary round. Nearly avenged 2002 in Salt Lake City. Nearly earned bragging rights for winning on Canadian soil, on Vancouver ice. Nearly offered catharsis to players like Kane and Ryan Miller, who spun tales from youth hockey about being told they're [url=http://www.wildofficialauthentic.com/Devan_Dubnyk_Jersey_Adidas]Devan Dubnyk Authentic Jersey[/url] not good enough simply because they were born in the Lower 48.
 
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