Why did the NHL change the entire format of the Olympic hockey tournament and exercise all that power?
They want to exercise that much influence, then fine, don't have the Olympics held in Canada. Take them to Asia, Europe or some other place. We've had plenty of hockey tournaments before without those supposed NHL stars. In fact, in 1998 the Czechs beat the multimillionaires of Canada with a team that was mostly made up of players that were playing in the Czech Republic. In terms of salary Canada should have won that game 20 - 0, but they lost. Pathetic supposed stars!
When I watched hockey back then, there were 5 group games for every team and then the elimination rounds. Now the NHL decreased those games and exercises all kind of power over the IOC. The weirdest thing is that hockey has lost a lot of popularity in Europe compared to 20 years ago and it's not all that popular in the US either. I heard the NHL has been struggling with viewers.
It's a overhyped league that throws money around and exercises influence. I know that smaller ice surface was only in place for financial reasons and also the fact that the organizers knew that it would give certain teams an advantage.
How can they possibly just change the ice surface from the valid international standards? Ridiculous!!!
Calgary '88 was already a waste. They only put those Olympics there back then in order to have NHL players compete in it and then the NHL declined. They didn't want to lose to the Russians on the international surface I guess.
The ice rink was used so Canada would stand a better chance to win. You remember the game against Russia in '06 right? The US didn't make it far either. Same in '98.