It’s a sentiment that seems to be shared by several teams across the country as they look to fill out their rosters heading into the Sochi Olympics.
While the Winter Olympics are an important time to play hockey, it’s not all about the game, says Chris Rolfe, who works as a sports medicine specialist at the University of Denver.
“We all want to have fun and get back to being active, but we also want to be healthy and play the game the right way,” he says.
“I think if we are able to get the best out of all of our players, that’s all that matters.”
The Olympics are about so much more than hockey, but for all those involved in the game’s biggest sporting event, it can feel like an afterthought.
Injuries are common in hockey, which is one of the most popular sports in the United States.
Injuries are also an issue for many sports, but injuries in hockey are the biggest, according to Dr. Kevin Fenton, the head of orthopedists at St. Cloud Orthopedics in St. Paul, Minn.
In the U.S., injuries are the leading cause of injury in athletes, according a recent study by the University, which surveyed more than 500 athletes and coaches.
According to the report, 1 in 10 athletes had at least one knee injury during their lifetime.
More than 20 percent of those injured had some type of ligament damage.
About one in three athletes had knee surgery in the past year, while more than 10 percent of athletes had some sort of injury.
“There are a lot of players that are playing their first Olympics and have never been able to do it before and it’s pretty scary,” said Rolfie, who also works as the team doctor for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“It’s a great opportunity for a lot people to be able to play, but it’s also a great chance for people to go out and compete at a higher level.”
Dr. Fenton says the best way to avoid a knee injury is to stay away from the ice.
“The only time that we really see a big spike in knee injuries is if we’re going to be in ice,” he said.
“So if we play in the ice, we’re really not going to see that increase.”
Rolfe says when he was growing up, he and his dad used to make fun of the hockey players in the backyard for not playing the game.
“They’d say, ‘We’re going down the ice in our skates.
We’re not going down in our boots,'” he said, laughing.”
But the more that I played, the more I grew up watching those guys and thought that they were so good, I didn’t really care.
They were just good guys.
And that’s what it was.””
They just have this aura around them,” he added.”
If you see a guy and they look like they’re playing on ice, you know they’re going out there to compete and it really is just a matter of being prepared.”
For the most part, Rolfee says he is in agreement with that sentiment.
He said he doesn’t see that athletes are going to come out of this season without some sort to protect their knees.
“To me, that is the biggest thing,” he concluded.