For N.H.L. Stars, the Olympics Remain a ‘What if?’

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Carey Price, left, and Sidney Crosby played against each other at the N.H.L. All-Star Game on Sunday, but they won’t be able to be teammates on Canada’s Olympic team. Mike Carlson/Getty Images

TAMPA, Fla. — Over the past two decades, the N.H.L.’s best players have been participants in the Winter Olympics. But this year, they will have a new role when the Olympic men’s hockey tournament begins Feb. 14: fans.

Citing injury concerns, costs and what it called a lack of tangible benefit, the N.H.L. decided not to schedule its customary three-week Olympic break or loan its clubs’ players for the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

For many players at last weekend’s All-Star festivities here, the disappointment over being unable to participate has lingered, and it is only starting to give way to a mix of national pride, curiosity and support of friends.

“When it all came out, I was pretty angry that we weren’t going to be going, so I told myself that I’m probably not going to watch the Olympics,” said Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, who most likely would have been on the Canadian Olympic team for the first time. “Now as it’s getting closer I’m realizing that I’m still proud to be Canadian and I am going to watch. But, obviously, it’s going to be pretty bittersweet.”

Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who scored the gold medal-winning goal for Canada at the Vancouver Games in 2010, said he had moved on from his frustration to focus on the tasks at hand in Pittsburgh.

Source: The New York Times