NHL Announces Players Won’t Be Allowed To Go To Olympics
(AP) – The NHL has announced that players won’t be able to participate in the Beijing Olympics.
The move that seemed inevitable in recent days means the league will spend the previously scheduled Olympic break making up games that have and will be postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.
International officials and national federations must now pivot to Plan B without NHL talent.
NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr issued the following statement regarding the Olympics:
“Since the CBA extension was reached 17 months ago, NHL players have looked forward with great anticipation to once again participating in the Winter Olympics. Until very recently, we seemed to be on a clear path to go to Beijing. COVID-19 has unfortunately intervened, forcing dozens of games to be postponed this month alone. No matter how much we wish it were not the case, we need to utilize the Olympic period to reschedule these games.
“Certainly, the players and hockey fans are quite disappointed. But playing a full 82-game season this year, something the pandemic has prevented us from doing since the 2018-19 season, is very important. We expect that NHL players will return to the Olympics in 2026.”
This will be the second consecutive Olympic men’s hockey tournament without NHL players.