The Canes have four players in Vancouver and none will return until at least Sunday. And those who play for the gold on Sunday may not rejoin the team until the morning skate Tuesday in Toronto, coach Paul Maurice said.
How will playing in the Olympics affect their games when the regular season resumes? There's so much emotion, so much tension, so much pride in country, that those competing in the Games surely must experience some kind of letdown.
But those who have done it say it's not that hard to get back to "normal."
"I think you can hop right back in," said Sergei Samsonov, who played for Russia in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. "It's such a quick tournament. There's a lot of emotion, but it's a fun tournament and a short tournament."
Rod Brind'Amour (Nagano 1998) and Erik Cole (Torino 2006) had more strenuous travel, but said it's not that big a problem. And Brind'Amour noted the four players will be sharp and not need any catchup time.
"It may actually easier for the guys there playing, because they don't really miss a beat," said Brind'Amour, a member of Team Canada in '98. "We have to stop for two weeks and it's like, 'Whoa.'
"If they do win, there is that high and they'll be coming back for a regular-season game. But you don't hear too many guys say it's a bad experience."
The two-week break for the Olympics resulted in a condensed NHL schedule this season. With so many games, there's an added risk of injury.
"But the schedule is pretty tough when it's not an Olympic year," said Cole, who played for Team USA in 2006. "It's always a grind. It only happens once every four years and you don't hear too much complaint about that."
Brind'Amour is in favor of keeping NHL players in the Winter Games but doesn't particularly care for the break. His solution: move hockey to the Summer Game, thus preventing a disruption to the regular season.
"I know it's ice hockey, but maybe it would work in the Summer Olympics," he said. "It is such a huge event. It's too good a tournament and everybody is watching.
"What we have now is not a great way. You're playing, then take two weeks off? Doesn't make a lot of sense."