Monday, September 10, 2007
Oh Canada ...
The silly Super Series finally came to a close. There were no Paul Henderson moments, hell there was no drama. Canada won seven of the eight games (and didn't even try the other one, only managing a four-all tie).
For a report on the final game, click here. TSN in Canada has more stories and you can even see the Russians get hammered here.
Now the only reason I am mentioning it is because while this series has been quite inane, it made me think of the Olympics. Much like with soccer, I think that Olympic hockey should consist of teams with players must be under 23 years of age, with three over-23 players allowed per squad. Now don't get me wrong, I have loved seeing all the dream teams play (I am so proud to say that I was there for this) but without the NHL willing to properly alter their schedule, it really isn't fair. Lower-tier teams don't get their players until its too late and even then all of the teams have little time to develop chemistry.
The league doesn't like to relinquish its corporate-driven All Star game and let's face it, the YoungStars game is boring as all hell without any motivation. So why not showcase the youngest and brightest while allowing the stars to cater to the suits? Place the All Star game that year near wherever the Olympics are being held and you can put on a helluva show for the people with money. An All Star game in Italy, Sweden, Russia, Austria, etc. would be a helluva international showcase for the sport.
Letting the junior and minor league kids play in the Olympics would allow them some time to train and give them a worldwide showcase for their skills. And resuscitating the World Cup of Hockey, which has no plans to play in 2008, would be a good option as it is a fall tourney rather than a February affair. It gives the superstars a chance to warm up for the season in a better venue than boring-ass exhibition games in front of half-empty buildings. Plus, if there are any injuries, it would give the players some time to heal before the playoffs, unlike the Olympics.
The NHL is tied to Vancouver in 2010 but after that, it is still up in the air. Plenty of time to think about it and see that I am right ...