It’s becoming more and more apparent that the NHL doesn’t want to go to the Winter Olympics next year in Korea. I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, it seems unnecessary for the NHL to expand its horizons there, but on the other hand, its the Winter Olympics. It’s meant to have the best athletes in the world representing their country with pride, not to make money. (But let’s face it, everything is about money these days.)
But here’s the thing. If you look at this from a pure business persepctive, going to Korea is a bad idea. People there are not overly interested in hockey and even if they are, what’s the point? Is the NHL planning to create a new NHL team in Korea? No. Get your head out of your rear. Any NHL team located in the continent of Asia will be a huge proble. because of the time zones and the amount of travel. Don’t tell me that a team is going to fly over 9 hours and play a game of hockey completely jet lagged. Just don’t.
The only reasonable reason for the NHL to go to the Korea is to sell the game to the Koreans. Get them interested in hockey so that in a few years, you can create a brand new hockey league there. It must be totally new though. You can’t just move the minor leagues there because that would make getting called up or down a nightmare.
Not to forget the fact that these players have families and they’re moving to a whole new continent. (I know that Europeans do that to play in the NHL but Asia is a whole new culture.) No, it has to be started from scratch. Maybe start with 6 teams again and if the interest grows, you can expand. But if any of this is the NHL’s aspirations, they better start growing the interest as soon as possible.
And that means attending the Winter Olympics next year.
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