Bob Nicholson, a vice president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, predicted Friday that NHL players would participate in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, the Associated Press' Chris Lines reports.
Concern over injuries has placed NHL participation in doubt, since the Olympics fall in the middle of the season. The AP also notes that Korea's lack of a hockey tradition is also a concern.
"The players want to go but it's very difficult for the NHL," Nicholson said. "If everyone agrees to take some and leave some on the table, I think we'll see NHL players in the future."
Several prominent NHL players were injured during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg injured his back and missed 13 NHL games. Promising Panthers rookie Aleksander Barkov injured his knee while playing for Russia and sat out the rest of the season. Islanders star John Tavares was third in the NHL in points before he tore his MCL and meniscus, forcing him to miss the rest of the season.
- Dan Gartland