Will players be motivated to play in the World Cup?
Some will: “I will be, because you’ve got a maple leaf on my jersey, so you’re playing for Canada and every time I play for Canada – not that I don’t play my best for the Sharks – but when it’s for your country, you’ve got the weight of 30 million people on your shoulders,” said San Jose and Team Canada Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Some less so: “There’s too many tournaments going on in hockey. Where in soccer, that [World Cup] is the one tournament everyone is talking about. But every year to play the World Championships, and then you have this every fourth year, and you put the Olympics in between. There’s too many tournaments, I believe,” said Canucks and Team Sweden forward Henrik Sedin, before adding this when asked if it would be a good idea to skip the World Championships in World Cup years. “Yeah, but they’re not going to do that because of money.”
This isn’t nation versus nation and best on best. It’s a marketing and revenue vehicle for the NHL and NHLPA. The Olympics does the same for the IOC and IIHF. So let’s not pretend the World Cup is more of a cash grab than any other sporting event. It’s not. Everything is about money.
It’s hard to predict buy-in from players and fans. Trophies gain patina over time. The World Cup will need the benefit of time to wheedle its way into the subconscious of fans and players alike.
Courtesy of TSN Sports by Gary Lawless – Re: Five water-cooler questions NHL fans, media, players and management are throwing around this week