Will these Boston Bruins play in another Winter Olympics?

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: Patrice Bergeron #37 of Canada controls the puck during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: Patrice Bergeron #37 of Canada controls the puck during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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With COVID cases rising in the NHL, the league has been shutting down teams left and right, most recently putting all games and facilities on pause until after Christmas.

That doesn’t bode well with the Olympics on the horizon. The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are less than two months away and it feels like fans won’t be seeing their favorite NHL players representing their countries.

Many executives in the league did not want to send the players to the Olympics anyway, with the rise of COVID causing concerns even before the season. Now that COVID is an issue again, it feels inevitable that the Olympic plug will be pulled, with a final decision from the NHL expected to come this week.

If the NHL doesn’t end up sending its players to Beijing, how does affect some of the Boston Bruins players who would have gone? Will they get to play in the Olympics again? Let’s look at all the Olympic candidates and the potential for another Winter Games in their future.

Patrice Bergeron – Canada

Beijing would have been Bergeron’s third trip to the Olympics. He previously played for Canada in 2010 and 2014, winning gold medals in both tournaments.

Despite playing in 13 games, Bergeron did not score a goal in his first two Olympics. He tallied a single assist in 2010 before adding two helpers in 2014. He would have had a chance to bury his first career Olympic goal in 2022, but with the Bruins captain sitting at 36 years old, it’s hard to see Bergeron suiting up for Canada at the age of 40. The two gold medals will have to do.

Verdict – Won’t play in another Olympics

Brad Marchand – Canada

Like Bergeron, Marchand was in line to play on Canada in Beijing. While he hasn’t played in an Olympics, Marchand was an integral part of Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, where his eight points ranked second behind just linemate Sidney Crosby.

Marchand is 33 so he’ll be 37 by the time the 2026 Milano Cortina Games are set. Normally this would be a red flag, but is it fair to say Marchand has only gotten better as he’s gotten older, even while in his 30’s? In a non-COVID world, a 100-point season was very well in the realm of possibility this season for Marchand.

He might not be a guarantee like he would have been this February, but you got to think Marchand plays in at least one Olympics before he calls it quits.

Verdict – Will play in another Olympics

Taylor Hall – Canada

Hall had a steep mountain to climb to get selected for Team Canada for Beijing. It’s always a deep, deep team and Hall likely would have been one of the last cuts at forward.

The Bruins winger is 30 years old and hasn’t exactly lived up to the bill of a No. 1 pick. Hall has had flashes here and there (see 2017-18 season), but otherwise, he hasn’t been consistent enough that I can see him playing at a Team Canada-caliber level in 2026. If he can’t do it at age 30, how’s he going to do it at 34?

Verdict – Won’t play in another Olympics

Charlie McAvoy – USA

I’ll keep it simple – at just age 24 years old, McAvoy is already a top defenseman in the NHL. He would have been a key component to Team USA’s blueline this February and he’s only going to get better. The U.S. blue line could look nearly the exact same in 2026 as it would have looked in 2022.

Verdict – Will play in another Olympics