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Morning Papers take

Morning Papers Take: Not agreeing with Lamoriello on Olympics

Lou Lamoriello is right about a lot of things, but I don’t agree with his position on the NHL’s participation in the Olympic Games.

In this morning’s Eastern Conference Morning Papers, Mark Everson of the NY Post had these quotes from Lou Lamoriello:

“That will be a CBA issue, but I am totally against it. Totally against. Absolutely. I have always been,” Lamoriello said yesterday, after GM meetings in Toronto following his enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday.

“The weeks that we take out of the season are prime dates,” Lamoriello said. “Here were are coming off football and we have an opportunity to keep the fans going to the games, then we take a break for two weeks.

“I’ve always felt this way, and I’m stronger now because we’re going into a new CBA and it should be something that comes up. I know Russia is having it next time. This has nothing to do with where it’s going to be. It has to do with the philosophy of why and why not.

“I do believe in the Olympics. I just don’t believe in the timing.”

Read the entire article here.

What is wrong with going to the Olympics in mid-season? First off, the timing of the Olympics is never going to change, so if time is the only issue Lamoriello has with partaking in the Games, I just don’t think that is a significant enough reason.

In February, teams starting looking ahead to the playoffs and intensity increases but it is not as if the NHL cuts down its 82-game schedule in Olympic years. In 2009-10, the regular season just began earlier and the schedule will be more spread out to accomodate the break in February.

Sure that break kills teams momentum, but it also gives the majority of the NHL a break to rest up. I realize the game-breakers are playing a ton of hockey but that’s why they are paid the big bucks. The desire to win should outweigh being tired from playing an intense extra five, six or seven games.

Simply, the Olympics sell the game of hockey, sell the sport to those who have never seen it and provide viewers with best quality of hockey every four years. Moreover, it grows the game in whatever country the games are being played in.

The importance of the Olympic Games to the NHL cannot be understated in my opinion. Abandoning the Games due to scheduling concerns would be a short-sighted move in my opinion.