But, like it or not, professional sports is a business. NHL teams invest many of millions of dollars in these players and make it so they can retire at a "young" age and live a life of financial security. I don't think it's too much to ask that these same players limit the risk of serious injury during the offseason.
I'm not talking about exercising, hiking or riding a bike. There's no need for people to start being outlandish. Some pro contracts are already written which prohibit players from skydiving, water skiing, riding motorcycles and the like. Eric Lindros was not permitted to water ski per his contract with the Flyers. I don't see anything wrong with contracts stating the only competitive hockey an NHL player can engage in must occur in the NHL.
Of course if a player doesn't feel comfortable sacrificing International tournaments they have every right to play in Europe and not sign in the NHL. And it's not just a hockey thing. If I'm the Indianapolis Colts, I don't want Andrew Luck taking head shots during the offseason, playing in a full contact, collegiate, alumni game just to "support the team who has helped get him there." Playing a full contact sport, statistically-speaking, is probably far more career-threatening than skydiving, water skiing, riding a motorcycle or a race car.
And I agree 100% with doulos - The Worlds are a complete joke. As for the Olympics, we all have our own opinions, but I feel professionals shouldn't be permitted - the Olympics should be for amateurs IMO. That is debatable of course, but that's my take.
And, hopefully Ovechkin is alright. Good news on the update.