With ten months to go before the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the National Hockey League announced Monday they won't send players to the games next February.
The reactions were as such:
-The NHLPA was mad at the owners
-Players were mad
-Fans are mad at Gary Bettman (when are they not?) and the NHL
-NBC (who has the Olympic TV rights) isn't happy either
It screams of the old "Owners vs. Players" that every league has. The NHL itself has had three lockouts in the last 20 years, one of which resulted in the loss of the entire 2004-05 season.
The NHL's decision to hold players out is unfortunate for players who want to represent their country in what is one of the biggest international tournaments for hockey. Players like Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin expressed their desire to play in future Olympics with the hope of winning a gold medal, something his adversary, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, has two of.
The Olympics in South Korea would have marked 20 years since the NHL sent its players to Nagano, the first of five consecutive winter games.
Initial anger and resentment towards the NHL was expected, but you can't put all the blame on the league for their decision.
The corrupt International Olympic Committee is also to blame.
The IOC has garnered a bad reputation over the years. It's a group that has a ridiculous list of demands for cities to host the games, and most of the time, leaves host cities in economic disarray after the two weeks of Olympic action.
These things made it hard for them to find a proper host for the 2022 Winter Olympics. When ideal candidates like Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden pulled and cancelled their bids, and were left with Beijing and Almaty in Kazakhstan. They went with Beijing, who held the summer games in 2008 and are not an ideal spot for a winter Olympic.
While they are great at listing their outlandish demands, the IOC could not find common ground for the NHL, who did not appear willing to shut down operations for two weeks and give in to the committee.
When the dust settles, neither side comes out clean. The I.O.C. wreaks of the sewage that wound up in the waters in Rio and the NHL will be viewed as a league that continues to trip over itself.
If the public were Olympic judges, nobody makes the podium in this situation.
The NHL has groundwork with the World Cup of Hockey and amateurs will once again have the chance to play in the Olympics.