Ever since 1998, National Hockey League (NHL) players have been allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics.
That will change in 2018. For the first time in 20 years, the Olympics will take place without professional hockey players in the mix.
A new Angus Reid Institute study found that most Canadians believe the men’s hockey competition has lost most of its appeal as a result. In fact, one in five hockey viewers say they’re not going to watch this time around.
Overall, 40 per cent of hockey viewers said they are still just as excited for the tournament, with interest levels for the Winter Games as a whole rising slightly to 58 per cent.
Other numbers showed:
- 17 per cent – I’m not going to watch at all anymore
- 40 per cent – I will still watch with the same level of interest
- 43 per cent – I will still watch, but I won’t care as much
Canada won the last two men’s hockey competitions at the Winter Games (2010, 2014).