The NHL and the Olympics. Ever since they first became involved with one another in 1998, they’ve maintained an uneasy relationship where they always end up cooperating, but never without some tense moments.
Every four years, it’s always rumored that the next Winter Olympics will finally be the one when the NHL will not allow its players to participate. And the league has not yet committed its players’ services for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea.
According to a Russian news outlet, TACC, IIHF president Rene Fasel had some interesting thoughts on what he thinks the NHL’s plans are.
Fasel reportedly said that he thinks the NHL has limited interest in the 2018 Olympics, but is keen to participate in the 2022 Games, which will be held in Beijing. Fasel added that the NHL would love to send its players to help strengthen the league’s marketing footprint in the vast, up-and-coming Chinese market.
According to Fasel, the IIHF is giving the NHL an ultimatum: Participate in both the Pyeongchang and Beijing Olympics or neither of them.
If so, this is a story that will bear watching.