NHL Takes a Pass on 2018 Winter Olympics
Prince George, B.C. – The suspense is over regarding whether the NHL plans to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
In a statement today, the NHL said the answer is no:
“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 plyers, 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,” the NHL said in a statement.
“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.”
Dan Rosen, NHL.com senior writer, says the NHL conducted polls in both Canada and the United States to determine if fans were in favour of the League taking a break in February and the answer was also no.
In the U.S., he says 73 per cent were against and in Canada 53 per cent.
The NHL has participated in every Winter Olympics dating back to Nagano Japan in 1998.