With NHL out of 2018 Olympics, questions surround potential for NCAA player participation

The NHL’s decision to not take part in the 2018 Olympics could open the door for men’s college hockey players to fill teams in PyeongChang, South Korea, next season.

The league gave final confirmation on Monday that it would not stop the 2017-18 season to allow for players to join national teams.

NHL players had taken part in the Olympics since 1998.

USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said the organization knew the NHL’s decision was a possibility. “The good news is that because of our grassroots efforts over the course of many years, our player pool is as deep as it has ever been and we fully expect to field a team that will play for a medal,” he said in a statement.

 

A USA Hockey spokesperson said there are many moving parts to the process of building the 2018 men’s Olympic roster.

If college players are used, there are questions on how long they would be away from their NCAA teams and how rosters would be selected.

Before NHL participation, USA Hockey built a team to spend months together training and playing exhibition games before the Olympics.

14 COMMENTS

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      • Why? Is it a principal thing that you want amateurs? The best quality hockey has NHL players at the Olympics. I’d rather watch teams of all-stars compete than teams of hard working but less talented amateurs.

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      • Why? Is it a principal thing that you want amateurs? The best quality hockey has NHL players at the Olympics. I’d rather watch teams of all-stars compete than teams of hard working but less talented amateurs.

  1. Some are freaking out about this in the hockey world but IMO I don’t see the need to. The NHL doesn’t need to grow the game desperately internationally because it’s already an international sport. The NHL needs to help grow the game throughout the US which I think is why the World Cup of hockey was a good start. It definitely wasn’t a home run this year but i think it will improve with time. Hopefully the NHL players will truly stay out and we get to see around half of the US roster filled with college kids to help promote college hockey internationally and in the US as well.

    And if anyone knows where is the line drawn for players? Are AHL players still allowed?

  2. Some are freaking out about this in the hockey world but IMO I don’t see the need to. The NHL doesn’t need to grow the game desperately internationally because it’s already an international sport. The NHL needs to help grow the game throughout the US which I think is why the World Cup of hockey was a good start. It definitely wasn’t a home run this year but i think it will improve with time. Hopefully the NHL players will truly stay out and we get to see around half of the US roster filled with college kids to help promote college hockey internationally and in the US as well.

    And if anyone knows where is the line drawn for players? Are AHL players still allowed?

  3. As a former season ticket holder of an NHL team, I found the Olympic a pain. First of all the season is compress, therefore back to backs are numerous making it more difficult to make all the games, and gee if your team is out of the picture come the Olympic “vacation” it’s really hard to regain interest after the three weeks off. Let the college kids and minor leaguers represent the US unless the teams are willing to their players take a leave of absence while continuing the season.

  4. As a former season ticket holder of an NHL team, I found the Olympic a pain. First of all the season is compress, therefore back to backs are numerous making it more difficult to make all the games, and gee if your team is out of the picture come the Olympic “vacation” it’s really hard to regain interest after the three weeks off. Let the college kids and minor leaguers represent the US unless the teams are willing to their players take a leave of absence while continuing the season.

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