as mentioned in And trust me, a few other NHL teams, from both Canada and the U.S. were vying to be in those games.
Finding a way to grow the game in a virgin hockey country of more than one billion people would make any owner salivate.
What’s different and noteworthy about this venture in China is that the Chinese want the NHL there, and not just because the 2022 Olympics will be in Beijing.
The NHL has an opportunity to grow the game under its own terms in China.
It may be small potatoes for China, but it’s a very significant number for Canada and the United States.
according to If both sides can’t come to terms, then 2018 will be the first Games since 1998 to not have the NHL partake.
The NHL would be nuts not to be there if it has designs on reaching the massive Chinese market.”
Unlikely as it seems – given the expenses and overall lack of prior exposure – Chinese officials are hellbent on making hockey a mainstream sensation on the Mainland.
This surprising prospect was furthered elevated this week when the National Hockey League (NHL) dropped the proverbial puck and let China’s small hit dedicated hockey contingent have at it via announcement about its plans to put on a pair of annual preseason games starting this year.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (pictured above, announcing the pre-season games in Beijing this week) isn’t optimistic about the prospects of such a deal, saying “there are no negotiations ongoing” with Olympic officials, adding: “as things stand now people should assume we are not going.”
NHL — China presents the perfect opportunity to expand the appeal of the game through attending the 2022 Winter Olympics
In some ways, China represents all that is appealing to the National Hockey League about staying in the Olympics.
But the world, and specifically the Olympic world, doesn’t work like that.
But its 1,101 registered hockey players is an infinitesimally small number given China’s population of 1.37 billion.
But China represents something completely different, and in the world of the NHL owner, that means something potentially profitable.
The rest of the hockey world understands that as well.
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