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NHL Players Opting Out Of The Olympics Great News For Golden Knights

Well, the news that’s seemed inevitable is finally here. Most news outlets will present it a different way, but what I hear is, the Golden Knights’ chances of winning the Stanley Cup have increased.

That’s right, with NHL players bowing out of the Olympics, the odds of a parade on Las Vegas Boulevard got a little bit better.

There are multiple reasons for this with the chief among them being getting a rest for some of Vegas’ most important players. Had NHLers gone to the Olympics under normal circumstances, it’s probable that seven prominent players would have represented their countries for the month-long tournament, and that doesn’t include Jack Eichel.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, and Mark Stone were all locks for Team Canada. Max Pacioretty was certainly going to be on the American team. Robin Lehner and William Karlsson were both likely starters for Team Sweden and Evgenii Dadonov had a good shot at being a member of the Russian squad.

That’s VGK’s starting goalie, 1RW, 1LW, 2C, 3RW, 1RD, and 2RD who all would have been competing for a prize just as important as the Stanley Cup for all of these players. Instead of resting for a month like the rest of the team would be doing, the most important Vegas players would have been playing games more strenuous than what they would have in a normal NHL season. Not to mention, five of those seven players have dealt with injuries this season and both Stone and Lehner are battling through them as we speak.

And, remember, the NHL was just planning on going on a break, they did not shorten either the 82-game season or the four-round playoffs.

Sure, it’s a massive disappointment that we don’t get to see the amazing display that would have been a best-on-best tournament for Olympic gold, but there’s no doubt this is excellent news for the Vegas Golden Knights.

On top of not putting extra games on important players’ legs, the Golden Knights were the only team in the NHL prior to the holiday pause to not have a single game postponed. They’ve played 32 of their 82 games and sit in 1st place in the division despite a rash of injuries.

Now, during the month of February that was previously set aside for the Olympics, the league will be making up missed games from earlier in the season. Under the current plans, the only game the Golden Knights will need to make up is tomorrow’s home game against the Kings.

Many other teams around the league have four or five games they must make up. They’ll be forced to play those games over a two-week period while the Golden Knights will essentially be afforded a mini training camp as they’ll be allowed to practice while other teams play.

Of course, it seems probable that many more games will get postponed over the coming weeks, but either way, the Golden Knights are set to get a break now, in February, or some combination of the two.

We were all looking forward to seeing our home country take home the gold, but at least there’s a massive silver lining for the team that always dons gold.

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6 Comments

  1. Ken

    Don’t put the cart before the horse

  2. Patric Agblad

    Lehner wrote on Twitter that he said no to the Olympics a week ago or so, so he wouldn’t have gone.

  3. Tim

    Not going to the Olympics was a no brainer. The only light in the tunnel I see on this Covid bullshit is they may OK taxi squads at no cost to your cap. I think it would be great to have our better AHL players practicing with the Golden Knights. It gives the kids to improve among the best and it gives coaches and management the opportunity to evaluate. A win win in my book.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    great news for whole free world, or what’s left of it.

  5. Daryl

    There is also a negative side to this break… While VGK will be practicing and scrimmaging, other teams will get to actually play games which will keep them in game firm. 4.gamws over a 2 week period is not that many games. Their players will still get much needed rest but they won’t be as rust as VGK will be when regular play starts back up.

    The break will be good for those players with mysterious injuries that just popped up

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