Owners have every right to keep players out of 2014 Olympics

Rich Duryea, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

Once again the NHL is working through a condensed schedule in order to accommodate the players going to the Olympics.

Olympic hockey has been exciting since the introduction of NHL players to the rosters. We are already hearing the players and owners will be at odds over the league’s participation in the next Olympics in Russia in 2014.

I’m sorry, but the owners have every right to object to their players going to the Olympics. The owners invest large amounts of money in paying the players to play for their teams and have every right to be concerned about losing one or more of their top players to an injury suffered in the Olympics.

The owners gain nothing by having their players play, but stand to lose a lot if one or more goes down with a season-, or even, a career-ending injury, not to mention the added fatigue factor on the participating players and the loss of rhythm suffered by the non-participating players after the three-week layoff.

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Hockey is a sport where injuries can happen at any time and the owners definitely should be concerned. The loss of a Crosby, Ovechkin, Lidstrom, or Brodeur would have catastrophic consequences for their respective teams.

The players need to understand their obligation is to their respective teams who compensate them extremely well for their services. Sure it’s an honor to play in the Olympics, but they have an obligation to the team that writes their paychecks.