Each week, we'll ask questions about the Flyers to our resident hockey analysts and see what they have to say.
Going End to End this week are CSNPhilly.com producer/reporter Sarah Baicker, CSN anchor/reporter John Boruk and CSNPhilly.com producer/reporter Tim Riday.
The question: Should this be the last Olympics with NHL involvement?
I'm with Flyers chairman Ed Snider on this one: It's time to end the NHL's involvement in the Olympics. We should give the amateurs a chance to shine, and it's not as though the competition loses a step without the pros -- remember 1980? It's not worth putting NHL competition on hold for three weeks, nor is it worth increasing the risk of player injury both in the Olympics and after them because of the compressed NHL schedule.
Personally, I think the novelty of NHL players participating in Olympic play has worn off, and with South Korea hosting the 2018 Winter Games, I don't believe you will see a strong push from either the league or the NHLPA to shut down the season again four years from now. But will this be the last time? Probably not. The NHL's Olympic involvement will be up for discussion again when you consider that 10-15 years from now, a whole new generation of players will be looking to fulfill their dreams of winning gold and representing their countries.
It's a tough call. I'm certainly not a fan of the NHL suspending play for three weeks, but it's hard to argue against just how entertaining international play can be. What hockey fan could forget the USA-Canada gold medal game in Vancouver four years ago? Even with the risk of injury, I still think it's a treat to see NHLers separate from their teammates and play alongside their countrymen. Then again, I'm not opposed to the idea of amateur players participating in the Olympics. Yes, I'm indecisive. What say you?