You'd be hard pressed to find a current NHL player who is OK with missing the 2018 Winter Olympics. "I wouldn't be on the team," Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev told ESPN.com in September. "But I'm sure a lot of guys would like to be there."
While a couple dozen players would get to represent their respective countries if the NHL wasn't skipping its first Winter Games since 1998, the rest of the league -- players such as Tanev -- would get a three-week break baked into the middle of a taxing NHL season.
We know how the league feels about its decision to skip out on Pyeongchang in 2018. "None at all," Gary Bettman said at a sports business panel in Toronto on Nov. 13 when asked if he had any regrets about not breaking for the Games.
But what do other folks around hockey have to say? ESPN polled a wide array of people, from an NHL owner to a GM to a handful of retired players, including some who have competed in the Olympics. Here's what they had to say about the NHL's gamesmanship surrounding the Games.
Rocky Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks: I think [participating in the Olympics] is only good if the players and the league can share some of the revenue. The Olympics wouldn't let [the NHL] use its logos. So, regardless if it was during the middle of the season ... if there was some way they could share, and let the players do something -- and that's why they had the World Cup -- I think that's the way to go. And then, quite frankly, you're scared to death about injuries. If you have a team that has a number of players going, like the Blackhawks did in 2010, you could lose everything with just one injury.
Teemu Selanne, six-time Olympian with Team Finland: I really believe that NHL players should be there. Obviously, that's one reason why I [waited a year to come to the NHL]; I wanted to play in the 1992 Olympics, and at the time, NHL players weren't able to play. I really wanted the experience. Now, for some players, this is their first and only chance to get in the Olympics -- and now they can't go. I feel sorry for them. I had the privilege of playing in six Olympics, and that's why I know how much it means and how great the experience is. I wish everyone would have the same chance to do it.
Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay GM and former executive director of Team Canada: Obviously I wish we were there. I understand the issues we weren't able to overcome to make an agreement to be there. I'm hopeful we can work on them in the future. For the game, for our league, it's a good thing long term. But there are some issues that need to be resolved.
Scott Stevens, retired NHL player and 1998 Canadian Olympian: I kind of liked it when it was amateurs [playing in the Olympics]. I know that's kind of weird, but I kind of liked when it was juniors and amateurs. It was fun to watch, and it was great for those guys. Some of those guys never get a chance to play in the NHL, and that's their Stanley Cup. I don't mind it going back that way, I'd like to see it go to the old days. Keep the NHL the NHL and playing for the Stanley Cups. I think it's too long of a wait, too long of a break. I think it's not great for the owners, not great for the other players.
Paul Kariya, retired NHL player, who played in the Olympics as an amateur and a pro: I think it's really beneficial, not just to the NHL but to the game of hockey, with professionals playing in the Olympics. All the players wanted to go, but at the same time, I was able to compete as an amateur, and that was the greatest experience I had as a hockey player. So I can see both sides of it. I'm sure it will be a great Olympics, and I'm really looking forward to watching it. Hopefully one day the NHL players will get a chance to go back.
Jari Kurri, who played in two Olympics for Team Finland, as an amateur and a pro: It hurts me, as a player. It feels very strange that the Olympics were taken away. Now there are some players in Europe who will get the chance to do that, and that's great, but it hurts not to have a competition with the best players out there.
Dave Andreychuk, retired NHL player who represented Canada internationally, but never in the Olympics: To be honest with you, it's a shame that's not going to happen. I really think it's great for the guys to be able to go. It's an honor to go to the Olympics. I wish they could all get together and it could happen again. Unfortunately, it's not happening this time.
Martin St. Louis, retired NHL player and two-time Canadian Olympian: [Playing in the Olympics] was something I really enjoyed doing as a player. I think [not going] is something players are pretty disappointed about. But at the same time, there's probably a lot of behind-closed-doors meetings I haven't been a part of, and that's why that decision is happening. Based just on pure hockey and competitiveness, of course, I think NHL guys should have the chance to go.
Patrik Elias, retired NHL player and four-time Czech Olympian: Obviously I'd like to see all the best players compete against each other. I was lucky to play in the Olympics, and I know what an awesome experience that is.
Lanny McDonald, retired NHL player who represented Canada internationally, but never in the Olympics: I would love to see them there. I'm a hockey fan and I'm a true believer in best-on-best. So I would've loved to see the NHL shut down for a certain amount of time, but that didn't happen. So we'll be cheering on whoever shows up.
Mark Recchi, retired NHL player and 1998 Canadian Olympian: It's tough, it's really tough. I got to play in one [Olympics] and I absolutely loved it. It was an amazing experience, an incredible feeling. I also understand that it's incredibly taxing. It's a long season as it is, and then it gets dragged on even more. So I kind of see both sides.