New York Rangers Fans Should Want Their Players' Olympic Teams Eliminated As Soon As Possible

By Steven Carollo
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of all of these injuries to NHL players in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and as a New York Rangers fan, I am extremely mad at the hand injury Mats Zuccarello obtained while playing for Team Norway in the Olympics while trying to block a shot.

Now, while no official reports have yet to surface,  it is rumored that Zuccarello could miss up to a few weeks. While this is a devastating injury to the Rangers, as Zuccarello is their leading point getter, it could have been worse. Franchise player for the New York Islanders, John Tavares, tore his MCL in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics playing for Team Canada, and because of it, will be out for the rest of the Olympics and the NHL season for the Islanders.

Zuccarello is hurt and the Rangers are far from out of the woods, as they still have six players, Henrik Lundqvist, Carl Hagelin, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan, all whose teams are still alive in the medal rounds, so even more injuries to Rangers players in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are a strong possibility. So, as long as the NHL keeps risking the health of their players, as a Rangers fan, I will always root against whichever Olympic team has the majority of Rangers players, because I want them healthy for their NHL team.

I mean, last time I checked, it is the Rangers who pay their players salary, not their Olympic teams, and for the players of the Rangers and around the NHL to leave their teams (while still getting paid by their NHL teams by the way) to play overseas in the Winter Olympics, where their Olympic team can care less about players’ safety as long as a medal is won, is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. To me, it is just a conflict of interests and the only reason why NHL players are allowed to play in the Olympics every four years is because the players want to. Well, if the players got everything they wanted then they would all be making $100 million per season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL owners need to put a stop to this and not allow their players to play in the Olympics. Back in 1980 when the U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey team won the gold medal, it was so special because the team was only filled with college kids and amateurs, which is how the Olympics should be — not filled with professionals who have contractual obligations with an NHL franchise.

Until this is rectified, as long as NHL players are allowed to play in the Winter Olympics, I will continue to root for whichever Olympic team has the least amount of Rangers players and I am 100 percent positive that all of the Rangers fans who also agree with not having NHL players in the Winter Olympics would agree.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers and sports writer for Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn, and join his Google network.

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