Olympic of­fi­cial not ac­cept­ing ‘no’ as an an­swer from NHL

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JEROME PUG­MIRE

PARIS — The pres­i­dent of the Pyeongchang Olympic or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee is still hop­ing for an Na­tional Hockey League U-turn.

“I don’t think they made the fi­nal de­ci­sion so far,” com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Lee Hee-beom said Mon­day at a news con­fer­ence.

“(There is) still room to dis­cuss and ne­go­ti­ate,” he added.

Last month, the NHL an­nounced it will not stop its sea­son to al­low play­ers to com­pete at the Feb. 9-25 Olympics for the first time in 20 years.

And deputy com­mis­sioner Bill Daly re­it­er­ated the NHL’s stance last week, de­spite In­ter­na­tional Ice Hockey Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Rene Fasel say­ing his or­ga­ni­za­tion was still hope­ful of work­ing out a so­lu­tion to bring the sport’s big­gest stars to Pyeongchang.

Lee met with Fasel in Paris Mon­day morn­ing to dis­cuss the is­sue. Paris is co­host­ing the hockey world cham­pi­onship with the Ger­man city of Cologne, with the quar­ter-fi­nals later this week.

He said he hopes fur­ther ne­go­ti­a­tion with the NHL will prove fruit­ful.

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