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Will Olympics hockey boost the NHL?

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Paul Chiasson/AP

(Read caption) Canada's Sidney Crosby celebrates his game winning goal during overtime of the men's ice hockey gold-medal final at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia Feb. 28. Mr. Crosby also plays for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. The heightened attention surrounding hockey during the Olympics could give the NHL a much-needed boost.

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The phenomenal showing of the US and Canadian teams in this year’s winter Olympics could give the struggling National Hockey League a much needed boost.

Canadian star Sidney Crosby, who scored the winning goal against the US during overtime of Sunday's gold-medal game, and US goalie Ryan Miller have become household names during the 13-day games. Each will return to his NHL team this week – Mr. Crosby to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mr. Miller to the Buffalo Sabres – along with their 44 other teammates, all of whom are also NHL players.

“There’s a good chance that there’ll be some at least short-term positive effect,” says Andrew Zimbalist, an economist at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. “It could entice people to spend some more [time] with hockey.”


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