Still a little bit disturbed about how Pee Wee Herman (Bettman) played things out in order to prevent NHL players from playing Olympic hockey.
Pee Wee is shrewd to the nth degree so whether its a negotiating tactic or not I do not know. With Bettman always bet on negotiating immo . . . .
I've always said the NHL is comprised of 3 parts.
TRAINING CAMP - basically the slap-happy pre-season games featuring hobos and rookies trying to show their stuff in a no-checking, no hard-hitting environment
EXHIBITION SEASON - the long & tedious regular season with so many meaningless games, nights off by players and coaches, putrid performances that lack most of the vigor and attack of desperation playoff games.
REGULAR SEASON - the 2 and a half month run of best of 7 series where players tend to wake up and play hard-nosed, grinding and sometimes brilliant hockey. Not enough great players on most teams to have this on for full 60 minutes but that said, most games contain decent tension and quality play. Goaltenders pick up their game, too!
So for PeeWee to allow a 2 week period during the hum-drum 82 game exhibition, that's NOT a big ask. The bigger ask is insuring Olympic NHL players against injury and breakdown. But its been done before. I'd even be OK with the NHL continuing a light schedule while the Olympics are on so they don't have to pack additional games pre or post Olympics. Let the teams run without their called up superstars for 2 or 3 games over a 12 to 15 day run. Whats wrong with that?
Anyways, Olympic hockey at its highest level is far better and entertaining than the NHL's tedious 82 game exhibition season - and if truth be told - prolly better than at least 1/2 the playoff games.