What isn’t clear: Whether or not the NHL will put its regular season on hold for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (Russia) and/or the 2018 edition in Pyeonchang, South Korea.
What is clear: Either way, hockey fans might need to watch games at some strange hours to view these puck exhibitions as they happen live.
In case you haven’t heard, the 2018 Winter Olympics were awarded to Pyeonchang, South Korea today after two failed previous attempts. Apparently the city dominated the competition to get the Winter Olympics, earning 63 out of 95 votes despite only needing 48 to earn the victory. Pyeonchang becomes the first Asian city outside of Japan to host the Winter Games, according to the Associated Press.
While that is great news for the city and South Korea as a whole, it might not be fantastic for the sleep cycles or work schedules of North American hockey fans. The NHL hasn’t committed (nor has it definitively said “No”) to sending hockey players to the next two Winter Olympics, but time zone differences – not to mention extensive travel – could be a big obstacle to deal with. Just take a look at the time in South Korea right now and you’ll see that things might get a little weird.
You never know, though; things might work out in the long run. It would be great to see NHL players in both Olympics, but it might not be practical. Hockey fans should probably give those games a try either way. After all, other international events (see: the World Junior Hockey Championships) are often extremely enjoyable without current NHLers.