As the days go by, it is starting to look less and less like the NHL will allow their players to participate in the 2018 Olympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Chances Looking Slim for NHL Players at the 2018 Olympic Games
Earlier yesterday, commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, said to “assume we are not going”.
— CBC World News (@CBCWorldNews) March 22, 2017
This was met with backlash from fans who would all enjoy seeing the best players in the world competing against each other on the world’s biggest stage. This would mark the first time since the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan that NHL players would not be participating.
Bettman stated that as of now, there are no negotiations happening between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee on the topic of NHL participation. However, an official statement has not yet been made from the NHL, which still gives a small bit of hope that NHL players will attend.
In the past, some players have stated that they will be going to the Olympics regardless if the whole NHL goes. Most notably may be Alex Ovechkin who said “I don’t know what’s going to happen right now, but we just have to wait what they say and we’ll see… It’s a situation where you don’t know what’s going to happen. But obviously I said I’m going to play.”
Some players are willing to face the fines or suspensions that may go along with leaving their teams in the middle of the season.
The official announcement will likely come at a later date, possibly in the offseason. The announcement for the NHL’s participation in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia came in July 2013, roughly a month into the offseason.
There is still hope that the NHL will come to an agreement with the IOC to have NHL players participate. It is something all fans would like to see, but will likely not if the NHL gets their way.
On Thursday, Oct. 6, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, talks to reporters outside of the West Wing of the White House, after the ceremony honoring the Pittsburgh Penguins for their 2016 Championship, in Washington, on October 6, 2016. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)