ESPN.com's hockey writers discussed NHL participation at the '18 PyeongChang Games. Scott Burnside noted the league should "take a leadership role ... and say, 'We'll take whatever hit we need to take as a league to do the right thing, which is to continue to take part in the Olympics.' It's what the players want. It's what the fans want. And in the end, whether the owners get it or not, it's what the game needs." Pierre LeBrun wondered whether the players would be "willing to give assurances they wouldn't opt out of the CBA" in '20 and would "instead see the existing deal through" to '22. The NHL would "potentially welcome that." Joe McDonald noted it could "come down to NBC, the network that owns the broadcast rights, paying the tab in order to have NHL players participate" (ESPN.com, 3/15).
THROW IT DOWN: In Orlando, George Diaz wrote under the header, "Kyle Busch-Joey Logano Scrum Is NASCAR Marketing Gold." Every sport is "in the business of selling tickets, establishing wicked rivalries and sparking fan interest." Diaz: "So what was wrong with what happened in the emotional post-haste at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/15). NBCSPORTS.com's Dustin Long wrote under the header, "Joey Logano Is NASCAR's Lightning Rod But Could Be Its Next Superstar." NBC NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty said Logano "could get four or five" Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series titles. Petty: "If you go off that theory that he’s the guy challenging the establishment, he’s the guy who can take championships away from the establishment" (NBCSPORTS.com, 3/14).
AHOY PILOY: PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in a special to GOLF DIGEST this week said that he has "no issues with the speed of the game." However, ESPN.com's Bob Harig wrote it is "too bad Monahan feels that way." There is "only so much that can be done" about pace of play, but to "think that it is acceptable for three players to take nearly five hours to play golf is hard to believe." Harig: "To just accept it? That seems to send a bad message. And it certainly won't be any consolation to the players -- and it's not a small number -- who believe there are too many slowpokes impeding them" (ESPN.com, 3/15).