Ek posted a poll about NHL participation beyond Sochi, so I thought I'd have a few thoughts on the topic.
The reason the NHL players go to the Olympics is because they want to. They want to represent their countries in their sport on the biggest international sports event in the world.
The only thing holding up Olympic participation in any year has been the owners and their concern for the financial interests back in North America should one of their employees get injured during the games.
This massive global event was originally intended to feature the amateur athletes of the world, the best of the best who don't get paid to do what they love to do. Times have changed. More and more athletes who are considered "amateur" are getting paid for what they do, whether it's prize money, endorsements, interviews or what have you.
The NHL sending their professional players to the Olympics isn't a new situation for the IOC. It's old news. Many of the athletes that go to the Olympics have other jobs and get time off from their employer to head over to the games and compete. Why should the NHL be any different? It all boils down to a bunch of kids wanting to play the sport they love with the logo of their country sitting proudly on their chest.
As for Sochi and the ever-viral "boycott" that has been on going, there's no need. A boycott of Sochi accomplishes absolutely nothing. Telling hundreds of amateur athletes in your country that the money they spent on training, the time they sacrificed for training and the hard work they put in over the last several years is all for not isn't fair.
If you want to prove that your country has equal rights and supports the choices of their citizens free from hate, then go to Sochi. Go to the Olympics and show the world what your country believes in by flying flags, making signs and banners, and speaking freely on what you, and your country, believe in. Shove Russia's propaganda laws down their throat and embarrass them on a global scale. That would accomplish more than taking your ball and going home.
In conclusion on this topic, keep going to the Olympics as long as the players want to represent their countries and don't let the ignorance of one government ruin the work of amateur stars everywhere.
The Sharks renewed their relationship with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL for another season. Not to take away from the Worcester Sharks, but the Bulls give San Jose a close look at players that may not see the ice in Worcester as much as they'd like. Being a stones throw away it gives the Sharks pro scouts a chance to keep a close eye on the project picks for the organization.
Doug Wilson was pleased with the renewal.
“We had an extremely positive relationship with the Bulls last season as a development vehicle for players within our system and we look forward to continuing that agreement,”
Worcester GM Joe Will was also positive on the agreement.
“San Francisco provides a terrific option for us to place players in a situation where they can further develop themselves as hockey players,” said Will. “Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio and his staff do a great job preparing the players to succeed and Daniil is a perfect example of that. He worked hard in San Francisco and Worcester and earned an NHL contract on the merit of his play.”
San Jose isn't big on change, so it's no shocker to see this renewal. Even if the deal is only for another season as long as the Bulls are an ECHL franchise this relationship should be expected to continue.
The Young Stars Classic roster for the Sharks was announced a few days ago, so here it is.
If you're going to pay attention to the Young Stars Classic, here are five players to watch for the Sharks team.
Out of the entire roster, those are the five players that I can see having any ice-time with the Sharks in their future. I'm most interested in Abeltshauser. He's a massive kid who spent his junior years in the mega shadow that MacKinnon and Drouin cast over the Halifax Mooseheads. Anytime you get a defenseman with size who can tie his skates with falling over is a good start.
Here's the full schedule for the Classic.
Game 1 Edmonton vs Calgary Sept. 5 4 p.m.
Game 2 Vancouver vs San Jose Sept. 5 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 Winnipeg vs San Jose Sept. 6 4 p.m.
Game 4 Vancouver vs Calgary Sept. 6 7:30 p.m.
Game 5 Canucks Alumni Game Sept. 7 5 p.m.
Game 6 Edmonton vs Winnipeg Sept. 7 7:30 p.m.
Game 7 Vancouver vs Edmonton Sept. 8 2 p.m.
Game 8 San Jose vs Calgary Sept. 8 5:30 p.m.
Game 9 Winnipeg vs Vancouver Sept. 9 Noon
That's all for now, thanks for reading!
Stay icy, Sharks fans.