When Las Vegas skates its inaugural season, it may or may not be interrupted for two weeks. We know the 2018 Winter Olympics are scheduled, but we don’t know the NHL’s place in it. If players force their hand, the T-Mobile arena can cover its ice for a few weeks in February. If the league gets its way, players will be waking up at 3 AM just like us to watch amateurs from their countries play.
We’ve all been watching the World Cup of Hockey. Call it success, call it a bust, whatever, we can all agree it’s been some exciting hockey. While most NHL players are back with their teams, Canadian and European stars stayed back for World supremacy. However, the remaining World Cup players aren’t the only ones left back. Tyler Seguin, Aaron Ekblad, Matt Murray, and Marian Gaborik were all significantly injured during the World Cup.
Most players show up to win international tournaments. Aggression and physicality cause unfortunate injuries. If a player gets injured in late September, or even worse, late February, it puts a strain on their NHL club. However, getting injured in the World Cup is clearly the better of the two. The Kings lost Gaborik for eight plus weeks, which puts him back in the lineup by December. Not the worst case. If Gaborik got injured in late February it could be worse for the Kings playoff chase.
The 2018 Winter Games isn’t ideal for Las Vegas or the NHL. As the NHL has stated it’s not good for the league to shut down for two weeks. Plus player insurance policies are very expensive. And I know (Something) Knights fans will go nuts without hockey for two weeks midseason. The Knights could have a few Olympians, which should engage Las Vegas fans more to the 2018 Winter Games. However, local fans will be ticked if their favorite player gets hurt in Korea.