By finishing fourth again, Canada was now without an Olympic hockey medal since capturing bronze in 1968. But coach Dave King had earned a reputation as the best leader in the country to develop and nurture young talent, and getting players to commit to ’88 was made easier by the fact that Canada was hosting the Games for the first time and the hockey games would take place in the new Saddledome, an arena which many fans and critics alike considered to be the most modern in the world. Furthermore, players were now using the Olympics as leverage in contract disputes, and Canada was benefactor of a world-class goaltender – Edmonton’s Andy Moog – as a result. Teammate Randy Gregg, who had played in 1980, also took the year off to pursue an Olympic medal. And, although the NHL was still not sending players to the Olympics, the Calgary Flames loaned Jim Peplinski, a big forward with a heart of gold who was more than happy to represent his country.