Feb 5, 2013, 6:36 PM EDT
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.
“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.
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 52
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 42
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)