glen a richter wrote:
Good. Call me old school or traditionalist or whatever but the Olympics are for amateurs. If another country wants to throw their equivalent to pros up against our amateurs then so be it. It worked out for us in 1980 and even if we predictably end up getting our asses kicked, at least we did it the right way.
Actually there won't be too many amateur players if any. Nations will throw in the players who are pros but not good enough to make it to the NHL. Canada and USA will probably have some players from colleges on their rosters, but there will surely be professional players who are playing in Europe and the KHL.
European teams such as Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Rep. Switzerland, will fill up their rosters from the KHL and their national leagues. "Smaller" hockey nations (like Germany, Norway, etc.) won't get affected too much because they don't really have players in the NHL, so they will be able to use their strongest rosters.
But still, the Olympic champions will be one of the "Big Six" (the Swiss guys just aren't good enough to count them here) teams, but the quality of the games won't reach the level of a tournament with NHL players.
I'm a bit sad, because the Olympics occur only once in every 4 years, and it was the only opportunity watch these nations face each other with the best possible rosters. But on the other hand I can totally understand the background of the decision.