Sep 25, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT
IIHF president René Fasel is hopeful NHL players will be in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics. However, he knows it’s no sure thing given the league’s current labor dispute.
“After I was elected in 1994, we have had four consecutive best-on-best Olympics,” Fasel said Tuesday in Tokyo at the 135th IIHF Congress. “I stay optimistic about Sochi 2014, but as we know the NHL and their players’ association are in negotiations and before they have reached a new bargaining agreement we will not be able to say much about their participation. But we know that the players want to play.”
NHL owners have argued that participation in the Olympics puts their players at risk of injury and disrupts the season.
There’s also the matter of the 2014 Games being held outside North America.
“In some places, the benefits are greater for the Olympic participation than others. When you’re in Vancouver or Salt Lake City and you’re in North American time zones and you’re getting that type of coverage, then you are getting coverage that may be commensurate with shutting down,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in 2010.
It’s hard to imagine the NHL barring its players from going to Sochi, particularly the Russian stars that are so desperate to redeem themselves after a poor 2010 showing.
Then again, the two sides aren’t getting along so well these days, if you haven’t heard.
- Video: Wild chase the Blues away to take series lead 23
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 1
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead 77
- Video: Jets fans celebrate return of playoff hockey with whiteout in Winnipeg 4
- Would McLellan like to coach McDavid? ‘You can have the best player and still not have the best team’ 23
- Burrows’ instigator suspension rescinded, allowed to play Game 4 24
- No hearing scheduled for Hamhuis after Bennett headshot 13
- Sharks and McLellan have ‘mutually agreed’ to part ways 50
- Desperate Jets will ‘lean on’ their crowd tonight 19
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 16
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (171)
- Stone suffered microfracture on Subban slash, Sens confirm (102)
- Report: Kings’ Stoll arrested for cocaine, MDMA possession (Updated) (99)
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ (94)
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (87)