By DAVID HUNTER
Well, the Nashville Predators are back in the playoffs, but they will most likely be the No. 8 seed against hated rival and Stanley Cup favorite this season, the Chicago Blackhawks. So, it will be one series and done for Smashville this postseason. There is my hockey analysis for this year. Thanks for reading my column and talk to you next week.
Actually, news came out earlier this week, which went beyond hockey and baseball, and it has to do with my favorite sporting event every two years, the Olympics. So, the NHL decided to skip next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea, and MLB forced baseball to be taken out of the last two Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Way to think of your players, especially those who enjoy representing their country every four years.
Instead, the NHL and MLB tries to cram the World Cup of Hockey and the World Baseball Classic down our throats. Newsflash, no one cares. Nobody is going to remember who won it this year, especially here in the USA, even though we won the WBC last month. Yay Team USA.
Ever since 2009, I have been a proud supporter of the USA Olympic Team, including donating money to the organization each year. Is it money well spent, and I cannot wait for this winter.
However, I am bummed the best hockey players will not be able to represent their country next year. The same way, I haven't enjoyed baseball during the Summer Games, when it was a part of it.
By the way, this is not only a Team USA issue, because I will watch most games during the team sports events at the Olympics. I just want to see the best compete against each other, no matter the sport. Plus, most of the professional players enjoy representing their country, and they value an Olympic medal sometimes more than their own league championship trophy.
Don't get me wrong, there have been some great Olympic moments in both sports with the amateurs, including the greatest upset in USA sports history, the Miracle on Ice in 1980, and in 2000 when Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda led Team USA to the gold in 2000. Besides those two here in the USA, there are also countless other Olympic memories from both sports, which other countries remember like it was yesterday.
My point being, it is a selfish decision by both professional leagues not to stop their respective seasons, so their players can play for their country. I thought that was more important than competing for their respective teams.