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Sports retailers feeling financial impact due to lack of NHLers at Olympics

Olympic jersey for Team Canada at the 2018 Olympics. (Courtesy Hockey Canada)

Retailers worry about their bottom line thanks to a lack of big name stars at the 2018 Games

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s no secret names like Crosby, Stamkos and Toews won’t be taking to the ice in South Korea for the Winter Olympics next month. And that’s left some wondering if the lack of A-list athletes will affect the bottom line of local retailers.

“It’s nowhere near what it would be. If the NHL was going, we would [be] all numbered up (numbers on jerseys for sale) and we would have more than one shipment. We only booked one shipment from Nike for the simple reason, we weren’t expecting the NHL to go. Usually during the Olympics we get three or four shipments in,” explains VancitySports Owner John Svelka.

Svelka says things are so different this time around compared to four years ago. “It’s not like when [the men’s ice hockey team] went to Sochi where we had six or seven players all, numbered, all sizes, all colour [jerseys] hanging up in the front of the store. We definitely didn’t do that this year, because number one: we didn’t know who was going to be on the team and I don’t know how many people would really want to wear a Linden Vey Team Canada jersey.”

He adds the merchandise that is in stock is selling well. However, Svelka says any profits are considered extra rather than a budgeted necessity.

Earlier this month Hockey Canada announced the roster for this year’s team which included several former Vancouver Canucks.

Complete list of players who will represent Canada:

Rene Bourque
Gilbert Brule
Andrew Ebbett
Quinton Howden
Chris Kelly
Rob Klinkhammer
Brandon Kozun
Maxim Lapierre
Eric O’Dell
Mason Raymond
Derek Roy
Christian Thomas
Linden Vey
Wojtek Wolski

Stefan Elliott
Chay Genoway
Cody Goloubef
Marc-Andre Gragnani
Chris Lee
Maxim Noreau
Mat Robinson
Karl Stollery

Justin Peters
Kevin Poulin
Ben Scrivens