Viktor Hedman held his video conference wearing a jacket from Sweden. He was winking at Euro 2020 as the Swedes found themselves just hours away from facing the Ukrainians in the round of 16.
Hedman did not take off his yellow and blue jacket in protest at the prospect of the National Hockey League leaders avoiding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Right before the first game of the final, Gary Bateman stated in an endless conference that he did not rule out the option of making an X at the Beijing Olympics due to the numerous uncertainties regarding the COVID. The logistics of interrupting the NHL’s schedule of activities for more than two weeks is also an issue in the department.
But Bateman had so far agreed to include participation in the Olympics in exchange for several financial concessions from the players to ensure the resumption of activities in the summer of 2020.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard that news,” Hedman replied when told by an American colleague about the 2022 Olympics. The Olympic Games is one of my biggest dreams. I have not yet participated. It might be my last chance to go. I am sad to hear that. I want to focus on the Stanley Cup Final, but I can’t help but think about it a bit. I hope to have the opportunity to represent my country in the largest possible stage of hockey. I’ve always dreamed of it.”
Ryan McDonagh, who ran at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with the US team, added his voice to that of his teammate.
“It would be a shame if the players were not allowed to play there,” the defender said. When I was a young athlete, I dreamed of playing in the Olympics. I don’t want to see a young player lose his dream. It’s a unique experience, it’s good for hockey. I hope there is a way to coexist.”
Described as a strong contender for the position of head coach for the Canadian team, John Cooper sided with two of his defenders.
“I haven’t heard Gary’s speech. It would be unfortunate if that were the case. I know the players in the locker room want to go. It’s a special feeling for the players. We want to see the best against the best. When you can represent your country it’s always a great pride. It will be difficult for players to swallow the pill.”
A shot from defender Jeff Petrie in the first game of the final, winger Alex Killorn’s condition will be questionable in the second game. Cooper simply said it falls into the category of injury that is evaluated on a daily basis. Killorn appeared only once in the third period.