There could be some tough decisions ahead for a few of NHLers this summer.
A lot of players are hoping to play in the 2010 games in Vancouver and a lot of players would like an opportunity to show their respective national team coaches what they can offer at camps being held during the offseason.
Therein lies the problem!
You see, the NHLPA reaaaaaally doesn't want its players participating in Olympic training camps this summer. They don't believe that the national hockey federations are providing enough insurance to cover the current contracts and future earning potential of the players.
For the guys that know they'll be on the team, it's probably not that big of a deal. For the guys on the bubble, this puts them in a tough spot. This next bit of information will only make things tougher.
Octagon Hockey player agent and lawyer Allan Walsh "tweeted" these new details on Tuesday:
"Shocking but true. The NHL has sent out a memo that it will not honour NHL contract for a player injured at a summer Olympic training camp."
So you've got the NHLPA saying "don't skate" and you've got the NHL saying "if you get hurt, your contract is void."
A lot of players have said they'll be skating either way, like Joe Thornton, who told reporters "I've skated for years and have never been hurt, so I'll be skating."
As I write this blog post, the New York Times reports that Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have made a few new policies so that players who are injured at the camps are insured for the equivalent of their salaries for games 30 through 82 of the upcoming regular season.
That's good, but not every federation can afford to put up that kind of money...
Goalie Martin Brodeur brought up a good point too, wondering why the NHLPA is so worried about these Olympics, when they weren't very concerned before the 2006 games. Seems a bit strange that they would all of a sudden be up in arms.
If teams don't get these camps in during the summer, they'll likely only have one day to get acquainted before the big tournament starts. To be honest, I don't think that would really affect Team Canada much anyway!