NHL Has Declined To Participate At 2018 Winter Olympics
In a somewhat shocking revelation on April 3rd, 2017, the NHL has made a statement to confirm that no breaks in the schedule will be made to allow for players to participate in the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games next year.
Along with their statement, they’ve also made it clear that the matter is officially ‘closed.’
This is the first time since 1994 that there will be no NHL players attended the Winter Olympics. However, that might not be exactly true because Washington Capitals’ superstar Alexander Ovechkin doesn’t really care about the ruling and still plans to participate regardless.
Alex Ovechkin confirms that he still plans to go to the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/p6bW5PTAG2
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) April 4, 2017
Although his heart might be in the right place, who really knows if his team will allow it.
And while many players have expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has not been happy with the amount of money it costs to send players to the Olympics. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has not been cooperative on issues like covering out-of-pocket costs for players to attend and unwillingness for the league to promote their presence at the Games or even playing highlights.
At the end of the day, this is a business, but whatever happened to the Olympics being about amateur athletes?