Connor McDavid dominated the All-Star weekend skills competition last night. Who knows, maybe the good mood caused by the announcement that NHL players will show up again at the next Olympics helped. McDavid has long lobbied for it, now he’s beaming with enthusiasm.
“I have a really big desire to play in the Olympics,” McDavid admits. “I’ve talked about it a few times. I think everyone knows my attitude. I’d say a lot of other guys in my age group feel the same way.”
For McDavid, the chance to represent Canada in the top international competition was a long-awaited event, but one that kept getting postponed. But now he can’t wait to bring a new generation of fans to the screens. As he had when the Maple Leafs won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi, respectively.
“The opportunity alone is a dream come true,” he added. “I feel like it’s important for hockey as we continue to try to grow hockey internationally. I think it’s a great thing.”
As well as the new version of the World Cup which has been approved as well. “It’s a great program; something people can look forward to every two years. Four great teams going up against each other and I can’t wait.”
As mentioned, during McDavid’s career, the opportunity to represent Canada on the world stage in the competition of the best eluded him.
By the time Sidney Crosby, one of McDavid’s idols, was as old as Connor, he already had two Olympic gold medals under his belt.
So the Richmond Hill native certainly feels top international hockey is something he’s missed in his career, as do many of his North American 2016 World Cup teammates who fall into the same age bracket.
“It feels a little bit like an under-23 gathering here,” McDavid smiled of the all-star lineup. “To be able to do it on the Olympic stage, on the World Cup stage, it’s going to be all the better.”
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