Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Venue(s): Skenderija II Hall, Sarajevo; Zetra Hall, Sarajevo
Date Started: February 7, 1984
Date Finished: February 19, 1984
Format: Round-robin pools, followed by round-robin medal round.
The biggest controversy of the 1984 Olympic ice hockey tournament occurred before the Olympics as the IOC and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) fought over the eligibility rules. The IOC ruled that any player who had signed a professional contract was ineligible, while the IIHF ruled ineligible only those players who had played in a professional game. The Canadian Hockey Association had its own definition, apparently cleared by the IIHF, which stated that a player was eligible if he had not played in 11 NHL games. More problematic was that the European professionals were allowed to play and the eligibility rules only applied to NHL players and contracts. Finally it was decided that a player could compete in the Olympics if he had not signed an NHL contract and played in an NHL game. The gold and silver medals were won by the Soviet Union, once again, and Czechoslovakia. The hypocrisy of the eligibility rules was apparent when one considers that both countries were represented by national teams consisting of players whose sole job was to play ice hockey for their country. Though the players were “hidden” under the guise of a military job, they were as professional as any NHL player. Most of the Soviet players were on the Red Army club, also known as the CSKA – short for Central Sport Klub Armee.