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IIHF president will work to keep NHL in Olympics

Jan 8, 2013, 8:10 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates with his captain Scott Niedermayer #27 after scoring the matchwinning goal in overtime past Ryan Miller #39 of the United States during the ice hockey men's gold medal game between USA and Canada on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 28, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
(February 27, 2010 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

There’s one issue that won’t be resolved with the new CBA: What to do about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Many players want to go — particularly Russian-born stars that would be presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country on home soil in the Olympics. At the same time, the NHL has some concerns.

“This costs us money, this disrupts our season, we don’t make any money off of it,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said of the Olympics back in 2010. He added that the league ultimately made the sacrifice “because we believe it’s good for the game.”

The NHL is hoping to get more from the IIHF if they are going to continue to let its players participate in the Games, according to a Globe and Mail report. The NHL would reportedly like to see are the IIHF loosen its restrictions on things like video and images. They are also looking for sponsor recognition.

IIHF president and International Olympic Committee member Rene Fasel is hoping to work with the league and players to see all sides can come to an agreement.

“Once the CBA is ratified and there has been some cooling-down period, we will sit together with the IOC, the NHL and NHLPA to find solutions how to make sure that Sochi 2014 becomes the fifth consecutive best-on-best Olympic event,” said Fasel.

“As I have always pointed (out) whenever asked questions about NHL players’ participation, our doors are always open and I am confident that we will find ways — like we did in Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver — to stage this event on the biggest sporting stage there is.”

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. The 2014 Olympics are less than 13 months away.

  1. sportsfan69 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Here’s a suggestion to the IIHF president and International Olympic Committee member Rene Fasel, paid for all travel expenses, along with providing the NHL free exposure at the Olympics. Also, the Winter Olympics make a major advertisement commitment to the NHL similar a beer company, promoting the Winter Olympics. it’s a “Win, Win” for both parties. A true partnership for the NHL and NHLPA who split their revenues 50/50. Plus, provides the American and Canadian audience an awareness and excitement to watch the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    The Winter Olympics hockey games should be broadcasted at 8:30 AM and 12 Noon EST. for the premier match up games. Those times in Sochi, Russia would be 5:30 PM and 9:00 PM respectively. That’s works out great for both parties. Again, it’s creative thoughts.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      It’s a good start. Problem though. Many people, including me, would be working during those times. But I can’t think of any other time to play the games. I like the idea overall.

      • sportsfan69 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        Weekends too?

      • sportsfan69 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        Sochi, Russia is 9 hours time zone difference.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Yea, I know. Just pointing out the problem that I had during the WJC games. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:43 AM

        Welcome to 2013, or in this case 2014…

        It’s called a DVR

  2. akmd1984 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    “We don’t make any money off of it” – Gary Bettman.

    Under normal circumstances this would make me want to vomit. Having just come off the biggest money grab in league history, it sadly just makes me want to stop watching the NHL. Nothing but a bunch of greedy SOB’s.

    • jimw81 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      i agree with bettman on this part. he’s running a league and he has use his assets to sell to sponsors at all star games and league events. plus on the players side they dont get paid for this and they have to get their own insurance if something happens to them at the Olympics and league can’t help them out.

  3. rich859 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    akmd, I agree that it’s slightly nauseating. But from a business point of view the NHL needs to be selfish and always wonder “what’s in it for them”. In this case, what’s in it for the NHL is to show the world that they have by far the best hockey players in the world.

  4. smolsson - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Maybe this is a good way to keep the KHL from helping Russian players from returning to the NHL. Bargain tool to have the NHL players participate in Olympics in Russia. They don’t uphold the contract agreements, the NHL players do not participate.

  5. sportsfan69 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    It would be better than the World Junior’s times of 4 AM and 8AM EST.

  6. mydoglouie - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Great choice for a picture PHT!

  7. jimw81 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    it ends at Sochi. i don’t see them going to south Korea for the 2018 winter Olympics because of the travel.

    • jimw81 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      one thing i forgot to mention if they do go to the Olympics we are playing a condense schedule in two seasons in which we will have broken down bodies.

  8. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    The NHL owes it to the fans to have the players in the Olympics. It is by far the best hockey to watch every 4 years, regardless where they are held. The players would rather play in the Olympics instead of a meaningless 8-7 game where offensive players shoot more and don’t check (except if your Jeremy Roenick), defensive players make a mockery if the position, and goaltenders have zero chance in net.

    Does it disrupt the schedule for 2 weeks, sure it does. But in lieu of the All-Star Game where you take 4 days off anyways, it’s a 10 day difference. Open training camps and start the season 10 days earlier. The majority if the league that doesn’t go to the Olympics, wouldn’t complain of 2 weeks off in February to rest their body and make a run to the post season. Players who are hurt miss 2 weeks less worth of games, which could be huge for Rangers because Gaborik probably will have pulled his groin 5 times or have a hip flexor he can rest.

    For 2 weeks, Minnesota fans can cheer against Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, and Mikael Granlund while embracing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter (oops bad examples we already do), I mean we can embrace Ryan Kesler of those damn Canucks and Patrick Kane who we will be sick of since he will be a division rival in 2013-14.

  9. guitarmy204 - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    They need to start their own World Championship that is separate from the Olympics and has all the NHLers at it. Like the Men’s World Cup of Soccer. Then they could do it every 4 years whenever and wherever they want.

  10. thecheeman - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Can someone tell me why the IIHF has any restriction on video or images at all? Good god man let everyone use them all they want, if people want to promote hockey and international hockey do your part to help them out. Whose interests are being served here?

    Can we beg Lou Lamoriello to leave the Devils and run the IIHF and the NHL at the same time for the next decade?

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