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Brad Marchand wants to play in the Olympics, thinks the current CBA needs changes

The NHL hasn’t made an official decision regarding the league’s participation in future Olympics, but that hasn’t stopped various players from chiming in on the situation. Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins recently spoke up about the Olympics, stating his desire to continue competing in what he believes is the game’s highest level.

Marchand spoke with the Boston Herald:

“The Olympics is the highest caliber of hockey you can play. You’re playing against the best in the world, you’re playing for your country and that’s something I think everyone would love the opportunity to have, regardless of where you’re from and what country you represent.

The (NHL) players should have that opportunity. We’ve all worked hard enough to get ourselves in the NHL and to be the best caliber players in the world. And you look at the fans. They’re the ones who want to see the highest form of play, and the Olympics wouldn’t be the same without the NHL in it. They know that. We know that. So if they want to take that away from all the fans, there’ll be a lot of disappointed people.”

Marchand also pointed out that the NHL participating in the Olympics is really a no-brainer. He believes that both the NHL and the league’s players have a responsibility to grow the game and the Olympics are the best way to do it.

“It’s a partnership, right? The league has to help grow the game, the players have to help grow the game. We all play it because we love it and we want to share the game with as many people as we can across the world. And this is another way to do it. The Olympics is the most publicity you can get in hockey or any other sport. It’s a great way to do.”

While the NHL hasn’t said that they will or will not participate, they have suggested that they’d be open to an agreement which would allow the league’s players to compete in the Olympics if said players extend the current collective bargaining agreement.

That idea didn’t sit well with Marchand.

“If we can make it work on both sides I can’t see why we’d be opposed to it. But we can’t just sign it. There are things that need to be changed.”

The new CBA will require some negotiating and it sounds like the players (based on Marchand’s comments) aren’t willing to extend the current CBA even if it means playing in the Olympics.

Marchand’s comments are mostly focused on the Olympics, but his statement regarding the CBA should be an early warning sign to hockey fans. There are still several years to go before the current CBA expires, but it’s clear the two sides have a lot to work out if a future lockout is to be avoided.

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Yardbarker: NHL