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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

What the Olympics would be like without pro hockey

By Marc Thiessen

Last February I argued that NHL players should not be allowed to play in the Winter Olympic Games. We see Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin face each other several times a year (including at this weekend's the Winter Classic). The Olympics should be the place where hockey fans get to see the next Sidney Crosby and the next Alex Ovechkin.

Well, if you want to see the next Crosby or Ovechkin in action -- and get a taste of what the Olympics would be like without NHL superstars -- tune in to the NHL Network tonight at 7:30 p.m. as the U.S. and Canada face-off in the World Junior Championships.

The World Juniors don't even merit a mention in today's Post sports section, but they are to Canada what basketball's Final Four is here in the United States -- a national obsession. The tournament, taking place in Buffalo this year, showcases the best under-20 talent in the world -- the kids who would take the Olympic ice if the NHL barred its players from participating. Last year, the U.S. scored a major upset by defeating Canada in overtime in the finals on a goal by John Carlson, now a rookie with the Washington Capitals (a far better outcome than Sidney Crosby's overtime winner against the U.S. in Vancouver). Tonight Canada gets its chance for revenge as it takes on the undefeated U.S. team in the tournament's semi-finals.

If the Winter Classic whetted your hockey appetite, watch the World Juniors tonight -- and see how little would be lost by making the NHL superstars stay home during the Sochi games in 2014.

By Marc Thiessen  | January 3, 2011; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Comments

Mr Thiessen,

for once, you & i are in total agreement! - further, i'd like to see ALL of the professionals OUT of the Olympics, including the various "national teams" (for example: the old "Red Army" teams), which are solely composed of "professionals", who are "salaried by" several member nations & have no other means of personal support.
(it seems to me that "a good place to start" is permanently barring any athlete from entering any event that he/she makes money from. - thus a hockey player could NOT play Olympic hockey but could enter swimming/wrestling/shooting/tennis/skiing/etc.)

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | January 3, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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