The corrupt Olympics were unable to strong-arm the inept NHL into participating in the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.
Fans lose out, for sure. Olympic hockey is the most sublime version of the sport, a national-pride tournament with superstars going all out for glory.
Sadly, it happens only once every four years anyway. That's also an occasional reminder the NHL's nightly regular-season product is as boring as an economics lecture.
The International Olympic Committee withdrew its subsidy to get NHL players on site, a cost NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman claimed was "many, many, many millions of dollars." In a league with narrow margins, owners aren't paying out of pocket.
The Olympics disrupt the NHL season mightily. The league, of course, could shorten up those years and make regular-season games more meaningful. But fans then might demand a condensed schedule all the time.
True, the Olympics provide a wonderful marketing opportunity. Has it really mattered, though, since the NHL joined up in 1998? Not really.
So the IOC and NHL get what they deserve, and hockey fans once again get the shaft.