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Report: More Olympics meetings Friday

Apr 10, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Team Russia Getty Images

Friday in New York, members of the International Olympic Committee, International Ice Hockey Federation, NHL, and NHL Players’ Association will meet to discuss participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, according to an ESPN report.

There remains no agreement to send NHL players to Russia next February, and the report doesn’t suggest one will be reached Friday.

A month ago, IIHF president Rene Fasel said he remained “optimistic about the NHL’s participation in Sochi” and hoped an agreement between all the parties could be reached by “latest beginning of May.”

Travel, insurance and hospitality for players’ and owners’ families reportedly remain issues.

The CBC’s Elliotte Friedman had more on the insurance issue today.

For Team Canada alone, Friedman estimates it could cost in the neighborhood of $2.1 million to insure all the big NHL contracts.

Who’s going to pay for that?

Chances are, this all gets worked out. The thought of forcing players, especially Russian ones, to decide between going to Sochi and breaching their NHL contracts isn’t one that anyone wants to seriously entertain.

The 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang may be another story, however.

Unless South Korea all of a sudden gets really good at hockey.

  1. chanceoffleury1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    It makes me feel sad for the Russian players, especially. They have already given up so much more to play at this level in terms of moving to a different continent, taking sh** from ethnocentric analysts who only favor north American players, add in a significantly more difficult language and cultural barrier than even most European players have, let alone Canadian/US players. Now, the one chance they will have in their lifetime to compete for their country on home turf on the World’s largest stage is on the verge of being taken away.

    The US/Canadian game in 2010 was awesome. In a sport trying to grow it’s popularity, you’d think they’d be willing to do pretty much everything to get the best players on the biggest stage for the world to see. The US has a pretty good shot at a high medal. There were so many people I know who don’t ever watch hockey, watching it and learning about it from following Team USA’s success. Ovi, Malkin, Kovalchuk and Datsyuk are some of the biggest names in the sport, Brobovsky, Voynov and Tarasenko are breaking out this year. There are just some great things coming out of Russian players this year and I don’t think the NHL is gonna like their response if they tell them they aren’t allowed to go.

    If they tell NHL players as a whole they aren’t allowed to go, could NHL teams individually tell certain players they are allowed to go if the organization itself chose to insure their contracts? Like if the Caps or Pens said “Geno/Ovi can go” would they be allowed to even if the BJs told Brobovsky he couldn’t? Might be a stupid question but I’m just not sure how that works. I know Ovi said he’s going either way, so can the Caps just say he’s allowed to go and scratch him for the 2-3 weeks to avoid conflict or would he have to find a different way to do it?

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Wow, would you tone down the intelligence a bit there, bub? Also, try to include more bombastic vitriol against the Pens and/or Flyers.

      In all seriousness, couldn’t have said it better myself. Cheers.

    • buckyblackhawk - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Follow up to the culture/language part of your comment. It is much easier for a Swede or Finn to come over to the States/Canada than a Russian. They both learn English very early in school (2nd/3rd grade) and have US TV programs in English and their language in subtitles. Russia is a huge country with much pride and rarely learn a 2nd language or embrace other cultures….much like US. So, yes it is very difficult for some of these players to leave home. The Olympics next year is a chance to go home play/represent their country on home soil. Plus, it boosts the NHL global profile, I would think this decision is a no brainer.

  2. rainyday56 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Feel sorry for Ovi? Bryz? Kos? – really?

  3. hockeyflow33 - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    NHL players at the Olympics does nothing but serve as a great marketing tool for hockey, seems like it would be fairly obvious to allow their participation

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