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Daly expects 2018 Olympic decision in six months

Feb 11, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT

billdalygetty Getty Images

Sounds like the NHL and NHLPA will soon have an answer for participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“I do not anticipate it will take that long and we will have a broader discussion with the (NHL) players’ association on international competition and what we are doing internationally,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday, per the Olympic News Service. “That discussion is underway so I would anticipate a quick resolution in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months.”

Much has been made in recent weeks about future NHL participation, with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider speaking critically about sending players to the Winter Games.

“I hate them,” Snider said, per the Globe and Mail. “It’s ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous. I don’t care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldn’t want to break up the league. I think it’s ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season.

“It screws up everything. .. How can anybody be happy breaking up their season. No other league does it, why should we? There’s no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything, I can only see negatives.”

Snider’s take was in stark contrast to Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman who, upon arriving in Sochi, said it was worthwhile to keep bringing NHLers to the Olympics.

“You’re asking my opinion, my opinion is: absolutely,” he said. “I think this is fantastic for our league. We go back to the last year, and even beyond that, look how much attention this draws, how much conversation this draws, not only in Canada, but around the world. It promotes our league, it promotes our players.

“I believe it’s good for our game, I believe it’s good for the NHL.”

The NHL previously stated it would take a wait-and-see approach with regards to participating in Pyeongchang in 2018 — there has been talk the World Cup could be reborn as an alternative to the Olympics — but on Tuesday, Daly did make mention of the importance of potentially expanding hockey into unfamiliar territory.

”You will never ignore the Asian market,” he said. “It is a very, very important [market], but I do not view it as a short-term realistic objective to make a huge impact in the Asian market.”

  1. jimw81 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I think ed snider’a comments open the door on closing Olympic experience.a lot of owners are losing $$ booking empty arenas. The only way they continue go to Olympics unless Comcast tells otherwise.

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      You do know that the season is still 82 games right?

      • jimw81 - Feb 11, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        dont u think its a joke that nhl is only league that stops their regular season for a all star game in differnt country instead of having it in canada or us?

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 11, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        No because basketball is played in the Summer Games which is their off season.
        No because baseball isn’t even an Olympic sport after being voted out by the IOC.
        No because football isn’t even an Olympic sport.

        But what hockey does, is gave fans who are die hard fans, something presumably you are since your checking out this website something better than an All-Star Game played at some random location where defense is only a rumor and the final score is 6-5. At least the Olympics gives something closer to a real game with the majority of the best talent in the world on the same rink(s) for 10 days.

        Within those 10 days it gives people the chance to watch the product who normally don’t go out of their way to watch the NHL. 4 years ago, the story was Ryan Miller, which I’m sure after the Olympics more casual and non-casual fans watched more Sabres game the weeks following. The NHL needs the Olympics more than the Olympics need the NHL. Espically in 4 years if they don’t go, more casual fans and people who don’t watch the NHL on a regular basis will still be more inclined to watch the Olymic hockey game feature the US and Canda vs Finland and/or whatever country over the Islanders and Sabres on a Wednesday night. Think I’m wrong, it’s this time every 4 years people care about snowboarding (maybe except x-games), curling, figure skating, luge, bobsled, and whatever sport we watch every 4 years.

      • hockeyflow33 - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        I feel like in addition to not understanding the NHL season, you don’t really have a solid grasp on what the Olympics are.

  2. canadiansportsfan77 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    How are they going to say no. They will lose 90% of their entire European roster every 4th year regardless of their decision, the only difference will be a 2 week break where they don’t have empty rosters or trying to play games with half teams for 2 weeks.

    • tbeilfuss - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      I think you just keep the league running and let the players lose pay and they can deal with their teammates and fans for not being there.

  3. btlpper68 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Ed snieder is still butthurt about giroux not making it. Who cares what he says he could Chalenge Melnyk for most butthurt gm

  4. killerpgh - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    This time change is kind of killing the Olympic excitement for me. It sucks. I was really looking forward to watching the Olympics, especially Men ice hockey. But with work and games starting early in the morning I plan on DVRing the games and hopefully not seeing/hearing the outcome before I can watch it. And the chance of no one saying anything at work or hearing anything on the radio or what not is probably around 25% at best.

    • hockey412 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      I’ve been loving the Olympic coverage so far, but yeah the hockey tournament may be a little harder. I’ve given up on trying to avoid the outcomes before I watch the games…but based on what I see, getting any evening replays is going to be near impossible…unless you have a DVR, like you said.

    • jimw81 - Feb 11, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      thats the problem. ratings in usa are down mostly because of nbc’s own fault. it’s hard enough to get up at 5am for the woman’s game plus all these games are on while people are work. but the schedule plays a role in this. the last possible day for the last game of finals is in late june. next olympics are in south korea. do you think it”s worth to take off a month and half to play for a week? it’s time to go back to juniors or ahl players.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        Take off a month? Your joking right?

  5. AppealToReason - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    They can talk all they want, but the players are going to go. If Ovechkin/Kane/Sid tell Wirtz/Mario/Leonsis they’re going, they’re not going to tell them no. Better to let the players go than try and sell 2 weeks of tickets without your superstars. See how your TV ratings do then.

    The schedule compression is a bit of a myth too. It just means players don’t randomly have 7 days between games 4 times a season.

    And if owners are worried about empty arenas, maybe you should book other events.

  6. smnick - Feb 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    What about making Hockey a Summer Olympic sport? Most, if not all professional hockey leagues around the world play during the September – June time frame, and the Summer Olympics are historically held in July and August, sometimes into September. This would give all professional players the chance to represent their homeland without interrupting their professional careers during the off season. The League’s themselves won’t have to suspend operations for 2-3 weeks mid-season then scramble to make up games. Food for thought…

  7. djshnooks - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    I agree, to an extent, smnick.

    But, I think that would seriously hurt the Winter Olympic Games. Could hockey be moved to the Summer and basketball moved to the winter? That would be best.

    But, how about substituting the world junior tournament for the Olympic Games? All hockey Olympians must be 18-23 or something like that. It would give kids a chance to elevate their games on a larger scale with a world audience. And I think the competition would be much better.

    What’s your thoughts on changing the NHL Olympics, to a Junior/NCAA Olympics?

    • umrguy42 - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      I don’t particularly care for basketball, but swapping them to the Winter games eventually puts the NBA owners/players in the same spot as the NHL is now – they’re both in the middle of their seasons.

  8. penguins87and71 - Feb 11, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    It’s a great honor for the players to represent their home country on the international level, so I’m not so sure the players will agree to do away with NHL participation in the winter olympics. I’m a little torn on this myself. On one hand it’s a great marketing agent to show off the game of hockey on the international level, on the other hand it’s not smart to just stop your league in the meat of the season.

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