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Report: NHL participation in Sochi “just short of a foregone conclusion”

Feb 5, 2013, 6:36 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

Some big news Tuesday regarding the NHL’s potential participation at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

First, a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie on the status of said participation.

“It’s highly likely, just short of a foregone conclusion,” McKenzie said on TSN’s Insider Trading, “that the National Hockey League will be shutting down for 16 days in the middle of next season to allow its players to participate in the Olympics.”

Why “just short of” a foregone conclusion?

According to McKenzie, the NHL and NHLPA want a better deal from the International Ice Hockey Federation and International Olympic Committee.

“A better deal doesn’t mean a better monetary deal,” he explained. “It means better access to the players. The use of images, the use of video, things like that — as well as accommodations, tickets and the NHL and NHLPA basically being treated as if it was a major sponsor of the Olympics.”

McKenzie also noted a meeting will occur in mid-February between the four key parties — the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and IOC.

Speaking of the IIHF, president Rene Fasel recently spoke with Olympics website Around the Rings and had this to say:

I’m really confident that the NHL players will be in Sochi. We know the players want to be there. Many others, not just [top Russian and confirmed torchbearer] Alex Ovechkin, have expressed their determination to go to Sochi.

We know that all the four Olympics, we had the NHL players, and they have produced wonderful tournaments. We really know that the Olympic tournaments are good for our sport, in general for sport, and also for ice hockey.

We are really confident that the Olympic spirit will prevail and that the best players will be in Sochi.

This is my strong opinion.

And from the “whatever it’s worth” file, KHL disciplinary committee head (and ex-NHLer) Valeri Kamensky told Russian media outlet Sportbox that NHL players would certainly be participating.

From TV-Novosti:

“We have the Olympics in Sochi next year. It’s the main event,” Kamensky told Sportbox.ru “We all must prepare for it. Everything must be done for our national team to succeed there and take gold medals.”

“By the way, it’s very good that there’s already an agreement that the NHL players will take part in the Olympics. It’s 100 per cent certain decision. Hockey in Sochi will be very interesting.”

According to Jason Kay, Editor-in-Chief of The Hockey News, May has been pegged as a “reasonable target date” for a decision to be made.

Related

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Who will coach Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

Tretiak provides some early 2014 Olympics bulletin board material

  1. nygdriveforfive - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Canada> Sweden for Gold

    • c0mradeast - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      USA > Sweden > Canada

  2. pone27 - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Most to all NHL players look forward to this just as much, if not more than the Stanley Cup (especially European players)

    The opportunity for hockey players to represent their country means more than anything to some of them. You can just see it in the style, and gameplay/tempo.

    I watch practically every game, whether i have to record it or can watch it live.

    Looking forward to it!

  3. killerpgh - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    I hope so. Watching the NHL players compete and giving their all for their country is great. Makes for great tv and great story lines. Rivals turned teammates for 2 weeks is a great thing for the NHL. Alot of these Olympic teams will be like All-Star team except they will care about winning and losing. Having players like Crosby/Giroux and Malkin/Ovechkin put aside their differences for the love of their countries does more to help grow the sport. There are really only 3 negatives that can come with this Olympics. The time the games will be shown live in the US/Canada, possible injuries and since this current NHL season is going to run later in the calander year they can’t start the season earlier next year to help offset the 16 day break so next season will finish late as well. But the pros out weigh the cons, imo.

  4. murtdurt - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    ^ LOL. How’s that silver medal treating you?

    • bigblackzaranek - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      You mean the one from the games the US wasnt expected to medal in? Then took it to OT in the GMG? Pretty good… Hows your medal from WJC’s this year treating you?

  5. Jeff - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    The NHL players should ask for more money.
    I’d rather see amateurs play.

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