As the men's Olympic hockey tournament gets underway in Sochi, officials are starting the fight to not have these Winter Olympics be the last to feature NHL players.
International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel said Tuesday he will do everything he can to convince the NHL to continue allowing its players to compete in the games. The NHL began allowing it in 1998, making for some of the best tournaments the game has known. Prior to that, nations sent amateurs or professionals from their own domestic leagues.
Fasel acknowledged to the Associated Press that the league will make that final determination. And NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly declined to commit when asked by Canada's TVA Sports. He reiterated the lague's previous concerns abut disrupting the NHL season and sending players halfway around the globe. He said this year's games take place in a hockey hotbed in Russia, so the natural interest was already there. But the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which has never before fielded an Olympic hockey team or NHL player.
The league has been rumored to want to revive the World Cup of Hockey, which replaced the Canada Cup. It was played twice but suspended in 2004, made obsolete by the NHL's Olympic presence. Not only could this tournament be played opposite the NHL schedule, but the NHL could also profit from it by operating the games.
Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL, Sochi, Winter Olympics, World Cup of Hockey
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