NHL's Olympic decision also big news at women's tournament

PLYMOUTH, Mich. (AP) The NHL's announcement that it would not participate in the 2018 Olympics was a newsworthy topic at another big international hockey tournament - the women's world championship.

''I think the whole world's following that, obviously,'' U.S. captain Meghan Duggan said Monday night. ''We talked about it a little bit at meal. Just everyone, `Have you heard? Have you heard?' It is what it is. It's obviously a decision that the NHL felt they had to make. Has nothing to do with us. We'll see what happens.''

The U.S. women recently reached an agreement with USA Hockey, settling a wage dispute after players had threatened to boycott the world championship. Now it's the top players on the men's side who are involved in a contentious issue that could significantly reduce the number of recognizable names at next year's Olympics in South Korea. Duggan seemed content to stay out of that debate.

''Obviously, the NHL has their reasons that they make those decisions, and it's not really for us to comment on,'' she said. ''I guess we'll see how it shakes out.''

U.S. teammate Hannah Brandt said she could understand why fans might be unhappy about the NHL's decision .

''I think it's disappointing for everyone. I think people want to see the best players in the Olympics, but it's hard to really - it's a business decision,'' Brandt said. ''I think it's disappointing for fans, definitely.''

The U.S. women beat Finland on Monday night. Earlier in the day, Canada defeated Russia, and it was during that game that the news of the NHL's decision on the Olympics began circulating in earnest.

''As a hockey fan, as a hockey player, for sure it's disappointing,'' Canada's Lauriane Rougeau said. ''You go to the Olympics and you want to see the best-on-best. I think a lot of NHL players are going to be disappointed.''

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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