Jul 19, 2013, 12:18 PM EDT
After a lengthy negotiation, the NHL, NHLPA, IIOC and IIHF have reached an agreement for NHL participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“The National Hockey League features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our Players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere.”
Highlights of the agreement include a 16-day Olympic break (from Feb. 9-26) in the NHL schedule. The league will also be represented by seven referees and six linesmen working in Sochi, while the games will be played on international-sized rinks (60 x 30 meters).
This will mark the fifth consecutive winter games the NHL has participated in. Involvement dates back to the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, the first in which professional players were allowed to take part.
“The players are very pleased that an agreement has been reached that will allow the world’s best hockey players to compete at the Winter Games in February,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director. “Having the opportunity to wear their nation’s sweater in Sochi is something the players look forward to.”
Here are the three groups for the Winter Olympics, and the schedule:
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|Men’s Preliminary Round Schedule|
|WED, FEB 12|
|1||12:00 PM ET||Czech Republic vs. Sweden|
|2||12:00 PM ET||Latvia vs. Switzerland|
|THU, FEB 13|
|3||3:00 AM ET||Finland vs. Austria|
|4||7:30 AM ET||Russia vs. Slovenia|
|5||7:30 AM ET||Slovakia vs. United States|
|6||12:00 PM ET||Canada vs. Norway|
|FRI, FEB 14|
|7||3:00 AM ET||Czech Republic vs. Latvia|
|8||7:30 AM ET||Sweden vs. Switzerland|
|9||12:00 PM ET||Canada vs. Austria|
|10||12:00 PM ET||Norway vs. Finland|
|SAT, FEB 15|
|11||3:00 AM ET||Slovakia vs. Slovenia|
|12||7:30 AM ET||United States vs. Russia|
|13||12:00 PM ET||Switzerland vs. Czech Republic|
|14||12:00 PM ET||Sweden vs. Latvia|
|SUN, FEB 16|
|15||3:00 AM ET||Austria vs. Norway|
|16||7:30 AM ET||Russia vs. Slovakia|
|17||7:30 AM ET||Slovenia vs. United States|
|18||12:00 PM ET||Finland vs. Canada|
|Qualification play-off – TUE, FEB 18|
|19||3:00 AM ET||TBD|
|20||7:30 AM ET||TBD|
|21||12:00 PM ET||TBD|
|22||12:00 PM ET||TBD|
|Quarterfinals – WED, FEB 19|
|23||3:00 AM ET||TBD|
|24||7:30 AM ET||TBD|
|25||12:00 PM ET||TBD|
|26||12:00 PM ET||TBD|
|Semifinals – FRI, FEB 21|
|27||7:00 AM ET||TBD|
|28||12:00 PM ET||TBD|
|Bronze Medal Game – SAT, FEB 22|
|29||10:00 AM ET||TBD|
|Gold Medal Game – SUN, FEB 23|
|30||7:00 AM ET||TBD|
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