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The NHL will not participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The league decided to make the announcement today so it doesn’t overshadow the playoffs.
The NHL made the following statement today:
“We have previously made clear that, while the overwhelming majority of our Clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-18 NHL season for purposes of accommodating Olympic participation by some NHL players, we were open to hearing from any of the other parties who might have an interest in the issue (e.g., the IOC, the IIHF, the NHLPA) as to reasons the Board of Governors might be interested in re-evaluating their strongly held views on the subject. A number of months have now passed and no meaningful dialogue has materialized. Instead, the IOC has now expressed the position that the NHL’s participation in Beijing in 2022 is conditioned on our participation in South Korea in 2018.
And the NHLPA has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the Clubs. As a result, and in an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 Regular Season schedule without any break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games. We now consider the matter officially closed.”
NHL players first made appearances in the Olympic games in 1998 in Nagano and have continued to do so through 2014 in Sochi. There has been controversy in the NHL’s decision of participation regarding the Olympics for the last year. Alex Ovechkin has said he wanted to participate in the 2018 Olympics and Ted Leonsis has backed him along with other players that want to represent their countries.
NBC Sports, the network which currently broadcasts NHL games and the network which will broadcast the 2018 Olympics, also released a statement today:
The NHL Players Association (NHLPA) also made an official statement on Monday, in response to the NHL’s decision to forgo the coming Olympics:
News broke Monday evening that the league plans to stop owners from allowing players to participate in the Olympics:
Sources: NHLPA’s Don Fehr told agent meeting in Vancouver he expects NHL to stop owners from allowing individual players to go to Olympics.
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) April 4, 2017
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