Well, file this one under “foregone conclusion.”
With its feet held to the proverbial fire about participation in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, the NHL and its member clubs officially stated today that it will not make a break in its scheduling to accommodate participation.
Thus, there will be no NHLers — except maybe rogue elements like Alex Ovechkin — in Pyeongchang next February.
NHL statement pic.twitter.com/gYnFQD4hQA
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) April 3, 2017
The NHLPA and the IIHF have not held any meaningful dialogue in recent months with the NHL and its members — most “adamantly opposed” according to league sources — leading to Monday’s official announcement. The IOC had mandated that the NHL’s participation at Beijing in 2022 was contingent on representation in Pyeongchang, in effect hastening the NHL’s response.
The NHL’s stance on going to the Olympics hasn’t changed, with Bill Daly stating about a month ago that unless something changed (which hasn’t), that “we’re not going.” This despite the stated interest in competing (at the time) from world-class players like Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
Ovechkin, for the record, has the blessing of Washington Capitals’ owner Ted Leonsis to suit up for Team Russia.