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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL upset Connor McDavid and that makes us sad

Over at Sportsnet, Luke Fox posted a quick media scrum with Connor McDavid where he expressed his disappointment about being ineligible to play at the coming Olympics. Around these parts, we don’t take too kindly to people and things that make Connor unhappy.

With Team Canada announcing their pre-Olympic rosters, another nail got hammered into the coffin that was the dream of having NHL players still attend the Pyeongchang Olympics. For the players that could have made the team, this latest news must have felt like a kick to the nuts as there are still players playing pro in other leagues getting the chance. Guys that wouldn’t otherwise be going to the Olympics will end up representing Canada and that has to be irritating for the players that probably deserved to go more based on skill.

That’s not to say that they aren’t good hockey players on that preliminary list. They’re better than I will ever hope to be, but let’s not pretend that any of those guys would have normally been within a $20 cab ride of making the Olympic team. Let’s just say that if the NHL had permitted the players to participate in the Olympics that I would have been about as likely to make the team as Cam Barker.

Anyway. As for Connor McDavid, he just came out and said it:

“I’m really upset about it.”

I can understand why a guy would want to go to the Olympics and compete for a gold medal. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure that winning gold for Canada is something that has been ingrained into these guys since right after the moment they learned about when Wayne Gretzky was kept on the bench during the shootout in ’98.

“You want to be able to represent your country on the highest stage, and the Olympics is obviously the highest stage possible. To know that you might not be able to represent your country at the Olympics for another four years hurts for sure.

At least you’ll probably have another chance!

“Even if you’re able to in four years, it’s disappointing.”

Alright, I get that you have to wait but at least you’ll have another shot, right? You’ll get to play for an Olympic team that might be as good as this one could have been.

“I don’t think Team Canada will be able to put together a team like they’d be able to put together this year.”

Team Canada could have run with McDavid and Crosby as their top two centres, and that’s the kind of hurt that you can only get on the same team for special occasions and in video games. Not to mention, Sid turns 30 in August and you’d have to assume he’ll be slowing down a little bit by the time he’s 34 when the next Olympics rolls around.

“It would’ve been a special group, and you’re just hoping to be a part of it.”

For a guy that’s only 20-years-old, Connor McDavid seems like he’s wise beyond his years. If you had played me a tape of him speaking and told me it was a 40-year-old man then I probably would have believed you. Connor knows that next year’s Olympic team would have been ridiculous, and you never know what is going to happen in the future or what that next team will look like.*

As blink-182 said, ‘I guess this is growing up’ right, Connor?

“It’s disappointing, but that’s the way it is.”

I’m disappointed too, buddy.** I was really looking forward to watching you guys play.

*probably still very good

**not actual buddy

    • DerpSolo

      Bettman: The NHL is very excited to participate in the Olympics
      Bystander: Gary I will give you five dollars for the NHL not to go the Olympics
      Bettman: The NHL will not be participating in the Olympics

  • ScottV

    I’m sure it goes against the grain, but Ok – say the right thing but let it go.

    People pay a lot of money and or invest a lot of energy, to watch and support the NHL. We are entitled to reasonably rested and practised teams, that can put on an energetic show – game in and game out.

    The Olympics get in the way and cheapen the quality of the NHL product, with a condensed schedule and long layoff.

    Guess what – Canada is easily the best and strongest hockey nation in the world. Playing in one game elimination games and a gold medal game, only serves to allow pretenders to win an Olympic gold, in a narrow – doesn’t prove anything of substance format.

    Let it go. McD can focus on our return to the playoffs and a Stanley Cup.

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      Those same people that pay alot of money or invest a lot energy to watch and support the NHL. The majority of them probably want to see the best players playing in the Olympics and supporting there country. I also don’t buy the argument about reasonably rested and practiced teams. Seeing as how the season started what 10-14 days later than normal to accommodate the WC last year. So by your logic than the WC must of cheapened the quality of the NHL product with a condensed schedule. With some players playing close to 90-95 games before the playoffs.

    • ricardo2000

      This is the future: corporate yahoos will run our lives and tell us what we should do with our lives.
      Frankly, I consider the NHL decision to be completely self-serving, greedy, arrogant, contemptuous of the players and the fans, and treacherous concerning the involved nations.
      I would invite Bettman and the owners to an emergency conference about two months before the Olympics. Then i would handcuff and shackle them on a long flight to central NWT. Throw them out next to a nameless lake and leave them there until the second Stanley Cup Final is completed in 2020. Let these arrogant creeps live in pup tents and sleeping bags for a couple of years with 9 months of winter and 3 months of mosquitos and black flies so bad they beg for snow.
      Then put them on the no-fly list so they can’t leave town.
      There is no reason the NHL teams can’t function with a few minor leaguers on the roster.

  • OTOF2

    The Olympics is a privilege, not a right. The owners pay the players millions of dollars to play a game they love. If the owners don’t like the deal from the Olympic committee they have a right to say no. Connor needs to remember where his $12.5 million a year is coming from – it’s not from the Olympics.

    • The money does partially come from the model of growing the game around the world and increasing revenue for sharing etc. But yeah on the right issue, it will be interesting to see if any players can manage to agree with their ownership to let them go – don’t know if the rules would permit that kind of agreement with say Ovie and Leonses.

    • btrain

      Should the league not remember where their money comes from? As the future face of the league, McDavid is making the league far more profitable. The revenue that McDavid creates for the league is far superior to the amount of money he makes via his NHL salary.

    • ricardo2000

      It is not coming form the owners, it is coming from the fans and the country that built hockey while the owners merely exploit hockey, the fans, and the players.

  • cherry picker

    Ya the Olympics don’t seem like a big deal but when the time comes it is always easy to get pumped for the event. Even if you have to get up to watch games in the middle of the night its still awesome hockey on that large ice sheet! Imagine the speed for Connor!
    Lets hope the NHL allows players in future years and lets hope calgary Wins the Olympic bid for winter games in 2026 or whatever year they are going for – Hmm Calgary.. the dummies!! – financially that is… well multiple ways…

  • Jay (not J)

    Aw, are you sad? That makes me sad too.
    Happy about the Olympics though. This actually looks like it will be the most interesting hockey tournament we’ve seen at the games in 20 years. Might even be worth staying up to watch.

  • BobbyCanuck

    I was pretty upset when I first heard the news, will be interesting to see if the IOC sticks to it’s statement about NHL cannot pick and choose which Olympics to participate in, they said either all of them or none of them

    After some thought, without NHL players, Canada will not be the overwhelming favourite, so the Olympics will be more competitive, could make for a better tourney all around

  • A-Mc

    Is this likely the last olympics where Connor and Sid could be teammates?

    Sid will be 33 next go around, so theres probably 1 more chance if he can stay healthy.

  • jake

    Feel bad for McDavid, looks like he really wanted to play in the games. For me, not dissapointed at all. I am actually looking forward to watching these games, like the Spengler on steroids. If one peels back the layers, the player’s association likely has some blame in there somewhere for the eventual decision.

  • ColoradOIL

    Yes!!!! Blink 182 reference!!! On a serious note, as an American hockey fan, I’m kind of excited to see what the Olympics will look like without the NHL’s elite players. We have never won gold with professionals.

  • Ryan68

    Just playing devil’s advocate: how would OilersNation feel if Connor and/or Leon went to the Olympics and got hurt? Wouldn’t be that happy about then, I suspect.