The NHL's participation at the Olympic Games in Beijing appears to be teetering, with COVID-19 cases rising and impacting several teams across the league. Unless the NHL can get things under wraps, hockey fans could be in for a major disappointment this winter.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Some concerning news. Not even news, it's really just a feeling. It's a feeling that the Olympic games in the NHL participation at the Olympics in Beijing is teetering a little bit. Of course, we've got shutdowns in Ottawa and the New York-- the New York Islanders already, two postponements. Can we handle three, four, five, six? Probably not. But we had issues in Edmonton with Cody Ceci going on the shelf, Boston with Bruce Cassidy getting COVID.
I mean, if one, or two, or three of these things starts to snowball like it did in Ottawa and like it did in Long Island, should there be any expectation that Olympic participation will in fact happen? There should be real concern right now about this idea and something that every hockey fan wants to see. We are teetering.
And NHL teams, and I put teams as most important here, have to tighten things up. We saw memos from the NHL. No team parties, holiday parties and all that. And surely, that's probably a good thing. But just the day-to-day for these teams. They have to be a little bit better if they want those three weeks off. Because the league can put down a memo, but-- and not that they want anything to happen clearly, but one more issue and they'll have the excuse to eliminate the opportunity that they never really wanted to provide in the first place.
And honestly, if the NHL does not go to the Olympics, it will be among the most disappointing things that a hockey fan will have to stomach in a long time. And, of course, there's been some awful things in the NHL. And I want to separate those things, but from a pure hockey playing entertainment standpoint, that's going to be a pretty big blow.
We need McDavid at the Olympics, we need Matthews potentially terrorizing Canada. What a storyline that would be. We need, as content makers, the opportunity to break down these squads. And because I'm getting a little-- kind of getting a little concerned here, I'm going to have a week-long Olympic preview just because I want to get it out of my system next week. So look out for that.