McDavid not happy with NHL de­ci­sion on Olympics

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY BRENNAN DO­HERTY

Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers cap­tain Con­nor McDavid said he’s dis­ap­pointed that the NHL won’t be send­ing play­ers to the Win­ter Olympic in South Korea next year.

McDavid told re­porters at a char­ity event Wed­nes­day that Team Canada will not have the same tal­ent at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, thanks to the lack of NHL play­ers.

“It would have been a spe­cial group, and you’re just hope­ful to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s dis­ap­point­ing, but that’s the way it is.

“You want to be able to rep­re­sent your coun­try on the high­est stage, and the Olympics is ob­vi­ously the high­est stage pos­si­ble.”

McDavid’s com­ments came a day af­ter Hockey Canada an­nounced it was look­ing for non-NHL tal­ent for Canada’s 2017-2018 ros­ter.

Sean Burke, the team’s GM, said yes­ter­day that the bulk of Canada’s Olympic team will come from play­ers based in Europe.

The NHL’s rea­sons not to par­tic­i­pate in the up­com­ing Games in­clude dis­agree­ments over costs as well as prob­lems ac­com­mo­dat­ing the Games dur­ing its reg­u­lar sea­son.

When asked whether there was the pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting per­mis­sion from the Oil­ers to at­tend the Olympics, McDavid was non-com­mit­tal.

“I’m not too in­volved in all that stuff,” he said.

The NHL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion has claimed the league’s de­ci­sion is “short-sighted.”

The NHL had al­lowed play­ers to at­tend every Games since the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Canada was won gold at three of the last four Olympics, in­clud­ing backto-back wins in Van­cou­ver (2010) and Sochi (2014).

The last time Canada won gold with­out NHL play­ers was at the 1952 Oslo Games, when the se­nior-A Ed­mon­ton Mer­curys rep­re­sented the na­tion.

McDavid has not yet been able to rep­re­sent Canada at a best-on-best se­nior in­ter­na­tional hockey tour­na­ment. He was cap­tain of Team North Amer­ica, made up of play­ers 23-and-un­der from Canada and the United States, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.


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