The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has announced the groups for the 2022 Winter Olympic games in Beijing.
The full story can be seen here. I know I’m a day late lol. This comes after a few days where the focus of the olympics is whether or not the NHL will allow their players to participate. That seems to be the focus of every winter olympic games. It looks like the NHL will let their players participate. Thats a good thing. The olympics are a showcase of each sports top athletes form around the world for each sport. The top hockey players in the world play in the NHL. Not having them in the olympics takes away from how good the olympics could be. It also hurts the olympics. Ice hockey is the biggest event at the winter olympics. Having the NHL players causes viewership (tickets and tv) to double if not triple triple verses not having the NHL players. Plus who doesn’t want to see Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby play together.
Looking at the groups, Denmark qualified which is their first time qualifying for ice hockey in the olympics in 75 years. I think that’s the big story from this and going to be heading into the olympics. My only complaint about the groups is the same one I had back in 2018. USA and Canada should not be in the same group. Since the groups are not regional like FIFA the IIHF should do everything in their power to keep the United States and Canada from playing each other outside of the final. I think the Canada and the United States have the largest fan bases with Russia in a close third. I think keeping United States and Canada from playing each other until the final and keeping Russia in a different group will create the most viewership across the board for ice hockey in the olympics. Thats just my thoughts. what are your thoughts on this?