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Report: Agreement to send NHL players to Sochi Olympics is close

Jun 20, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT

Ice Hockey - Men's Gold Medal Game - Day 17 Getty Images

It seems more and more like National Hockey League players will be competing in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

But, still, nothing official. Not yet, anyway.

“Hopefully within the next couple of weeks we’ll have a formal agreement done,” Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson told Sportsnet.ca.

“We certainly have our sights that the NHL players will be there, but we still have to get that done with the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association.

“I can tell you that in all the meetings I’ve been in with those parties, the (International Ice Hockey Federation ), the (International Olympic Committee)– everyone wants it. Now we’re just trying to cross all the t’s and dot the i’s.”

Players from the NHL have competed in the past four Winter Olympics, with Canada taking the gold medal in the last competition, back in Vancouver in 2010.

The process of bringing NHLers to the 2014 Games has been an ongoing process since the lockout ended in January.

Last month, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly sounded positive that the league’s players would be in Sochi, while negotiations continued.

“We are proceeding under the assumption that the NHL will participate in Sochi,” Daly said back in May.

“We are still working on important issues with the IIHF and the IOC, and subject to our board of governors’ consideration and approval, it remains the objective that Sochi will be the fifth consecutive Olympics with NHL participation and where the NHL shuts down for the duration of the Olympic tournament.”

The four parties to take part in the negotiations have been the International Olympic Committee, International Ice Hockey Federation, NHL, and NHL Players’ Association.

  1. wallio - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Boo. Leave the Olympics to the amatuers.

    • bensawesomeness - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Sure, amateurs like Micheal Phelps, who’s clearly not professional or anything.

    • hazlydose - Jun 20, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      A lot of Olympic events involve professionals. Track and field, soccer,swimming as noted below, beach volleyball, water polo, snowboarding, and skiing just to name a few of the many.

  2. killerpgh - Jun 20, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Some of the best hockey to watch is the Olympics. Just sucks that the games will be in the middle of the night and with all the technology it’s almost impossible to avoid a score update/recap throughout the day if you DVR it and hope to watch it after work. Another negative is since the Olympic break will shut down the league for 2 1/2 weeks and they can’t start the season to much earlier (since this season is ending later) it will be more of a condensed season the goes into late June again.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Jun 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      Yeah, I totally agree.
      I love to watch some best players in the world play for their Country. But hate the interruption to the regular season, specially at a pivotal time of year.

  3. Jeff - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    The IOC should lockout the NHL players and leave Olympics to players who really love the game. The NHL and its players are amateurs when it comes to class.

  4. mydoglouie - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Sweet picture used for the story :)

  5. icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Sweet. Olympic hockey is fantastic TV. To not have NHL talent would take away from the experience.

  6. LampyB - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Cool story Jeff. Tell us something interesting.

  7. jpat2424 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    Use amateurs

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