Bettman To IOC: No NHL Players In South Korea

NHL Players won’t appear in South Korea 2018 Winter Games

 

 

 

 

And so, it seems that National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, and the 31 team owners will not be shutting down the regular season for two weeks next February so the players could compete in the 2018 South Korea Winter Olympics. The NHL did not like what the International Olympic Committee was offering while the players were not interested in reworking the collective bargaining agreement to accommodate the league and the Olympics.  Other players will have a chance to play for their countries in South Korea. The NHL is interested in playing games outside of the United States and Canada next season. The league will be holding two regular season games in Stockholm, Sweden on November 10 and 11 featuring the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche.  The league will also be sending two teams, Los Angeles and Vancouver, to China during training camp and play a game in Beijing and one in Shanghai.

 

The NHL probably does not want to miss out on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics even though there is scant interest in the game in China. So, it is conceivable that the NHL will be content with staging the World Cup of Hockey every four years. But the World Cup of Hockey is not going to reach the same number of people who watch the Olympics. It is strictly a tournament for hard core hockey fans and needs to be expanded beyond the greater Toronto area and into some American and European cities. The 2017-2018 schedule probably has been finalized with dates locked in at various arenas along with outdoor venues. Training camps open in about 100 days away. Meanwhile in South Korea there is the threat of a confrontation with North Korea and South Korea has a new president. South Korea Olympics backers are hoping the Games will restore national pride whether the NHL players are there or not.

Junior and college players along with minor pros could be on teams in the 2018 hockey portion of the Olympics.