NHL players aren’t going to the 2018 Olympics, but it’s not like they had a choice.
The league itself made that decision yesterday after months of speculation. The NHL Players’ Association made a strong statement of rebuke, but players themselves are getting pretty vocal about their displeasure on social media as well. And you just knew reporters would ask every prominent player about it after games yesterday.
Here’s a brief roundup of all the player and coach reactions so far, from both current and retired players.
Way to ruin the sport of hockey even more Gary #Olympics— Brandon Prust (@BrandonPrust8) April 3, 2017
Disappointing news, @NHL won't be part of the Olympics 2018. A huge opportunity to market the game at the biggest stage is wasted..— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) April 3, 2017
But most of all, disappointing for all the players that can't be part of the most special adventure in sports..— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) April 3, 2017
Sad the NHL's best won't be in the 2018 Olympics! The Worlds biggest stage! Tryouts for Canada will be posted in local rinks! Cmon #LetsGo— marc savard (@MSavvy91) April 4, 2017
Carey Price on the Olympics: "I feel like we're short changing some of the younger players that haven't had that opportunity."— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) April 3, 2017
Erik Karlsson called the decision by the league not to go to the Olympics "crap". #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 4, 2017
JVR calls the Olympics announcement "a very bitter pill to swallow."— James Mirtle (@mirtle) April 4, 2017
Even more players sound off about the decision on Tuesday.
Ovechkin on Olympics, if he's still going: "Yeah, I didn't change my mind. I'm still going " pic.twitter.com/SzO2RUpL79— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) April 4, 2017
Alex Ovechkin reiterated his commitment to attending the 2018 Olympics today pic.twitter.com/FbI5636vtc— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) April 4, 2017
Evgeni Kuznetsov intends to go to the Olympics: “Of course, if Russia need us. Of course. You know, it’s in the heart for Russian people."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 4, 2017
Shattenkirk says the players deserve to go to the Olympics and fans deserve to see them there. Calls NHL decision knee-jerk.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) April 4, 2017
Jonathan Toews even broke out the dreaded “lockout” word.
I asked Toews if we're hurtling toward another lockout. He said bumps like this make it feel like we're "heading in that direction."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 4, 2017
We’ll update this post as they come in. This saga is far from over.