Amateurs or Pros?

With the Olympics going on everyone is excited about their favorite athletes competing. For a lot of men’s hockey fans that means seeing NHL athletes playing for their countries.

Thinking about it, during the time I’ve been alive, only professional athletes have been allowed to compete for Team USA men’s hockey. For those of you that have seen the movie “Miracle”, this did not use to be true.

College athletes used to take the roster spots for hockey, not pros. I personally wish they would go back to this style. I don’t have a problem with the NHL athletes playing for their countries; however, in my opinion some of them don’t deserve to play. Some players will say no to the honor of playing for their country because they don’t want to risk getting hurt and missing out on their NHL season.

I respect this decision but if I was given the chance to wear my country’s colors and represent them, I would gladly do it in a heartbeat. Money is money and it will come and go but to represent your country and all of its people is an honor that many just wish they could have.

Many of the players see it as an honor, but they are already in the spotlight and making it big in the NHL- why not give the college kids a chance? I mean the Olympics are about underdogs, too. Give the kids who haven’t had the chance to make it big the opportunity to show the world what they can do.

It’s no guarantee they’ll make it to the NHL, and they haven’t had the taste of a paycheck yet. They will play their hearts out like everything is on the line rather than worrying about their big-time contracts back home. They’ll play like they’ll never get to play again.

As I stated before, I respect the NHL athletes, and feeling the need to protect themselves and their contracts is their decision, but it could be a problem avoided if the Olympic committee would go back to using amateur athletes.

Let the kids shine and see what it’s like to play for their country without having the NHL breathing down their backs. That’s what the U.S.A is all about after all, belief in the underdog.