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Former gold medalist and MVP Joe Sakic thinks NHLers should stay in the Olympics

24 Feb 2002: Joe Sakic #91 of Canada celebrates after scoring the team's fifth goal against the USA during the men's ice hockey gold medal game of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the E Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
24 Feb 2002: Joe Sakic #91 of Canada celebrates after scoring the team's fifth goal against the USA during the men's ice hockey gold medal game of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the E Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The NHL has yet to commit to allowing its’ players to play in the Olympics beyond the 2014 games in Sochi, but one former Olympic MVP seems to think they should.

Three-time Canadian Olympian Joe Sakic said Friday that playing in the Olympics can actually improve the players’ games when they return to their NHL clubs.

"I think it keeps you sharper,” said Sakic, who currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Colorado Avalanche.”And the level of hockey you're playing that whole time…that can make you better."

Sakic won gold with Canada in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Scoring seven points in six games, he was named tournament MVP. Sakic also played for Canada during the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan; and captained the team in Torino in 2006.

The Avalanche will send four players to the Sochi games. Forward Paul Stastny (USA) and goaltender Semyon Varlamov (Russia) will each head to their second Olympics; while forwards Gabriel Landeskog (Sweden) and Matt Duchene (Canada) will play their first games. Defensive prospect Jonas Holos will also be at the games, representing Norway.