NHL will not participate in 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
The NHL has decided not to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, the league announced.
The NHL has participated in the last five consecutive Olympics.
The league issued the following statement:
"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, etc.) 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 Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said that owners do not want to stop their season for three weeks and put players at risk of injury without some sort of return.
Don Fehr, the head of the NHL Players Association, noted that players want to participate and believes the NHL should look to expand its presence in Asia.