Connor McDavid Wants Hockey To Have Its Best-On-Best Moment, Too
Unless you’ve avoided pretty much any television or social media for the past 36 hours, you’ve seen the epic climax that ended the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night. Shohei Ohtani against his MLB teammate, Mike Trout. Two outs. Ninth inning. One-run game. For all the marbles.
The result was Ohtani striking out Trout, Japan winning the championship, and the world falling in love with some of the best players on the planet playing with the passion of kids like my sons on behalf of their home countries.
The tournament got everyone’s attention, including hockey players. And the best player on ice, Connor McDavid, was asked about the WBC finale before the Oilers played last night. He was pretty blunt with his desire to see the same opportunity for the best to face the best in hockey.
Here’s what he said:
I thought it was really cool. It’s what we’ve been asking for in hockey for a long time. It was best on best. Look, everyone’s talking about baseball. ‘Did you see Ohtani vs Trout?’ And that’s what hockey’s been missing for almost a decade now. That’s what we’ve been asking for.
We’ve seen this before in the formats of the Winter Olympics and the World Cup of Hockey. The NHL is pushing to bring back the World Cup of Hockey right now, while the players have desperately wanted to get back into the Olympics.
McDavid was the No. 1 overall pick in 2015. He hasn’t had the opportunity to represent Canada in that arena.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic and political reasons, NHL players haven’t played in the Winter Olympics since 2014; they’ve missed the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Prior to that, NHL players participated in five straight Olympics from 1998-2014.
The finish of the 2010 men’s gold medal game — Sidney Crosby scoring the golden goal against the United States in overtime in Vancouver — was arguably his defining moment as the best player of his generation (though he didn’t make the all-tournament team that year while Jonathan Toews did).
In November, the NHL and NHLPA announced the World Cup of Hockey won’t return in 2024. They’re hopeful for 2025. And the next Winter Olympics will be hosted by Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy — in 2026. At that point, the careers of icons like Crosby, Toews, Patrick Kane and Alexander Ovechkin will likely be over. And McDavid will be 29 years old. Heck, in three years Connor Bedard will likely be in the middle of his third NHL season.