NHL ices Olympics, says no to 2018 Games in South Korea

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS -

The NHL an­nounced Mon­day that it will not par­tic­i­pate in the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in South Korea, re­fus­ing for the first time in 20 years to halt its sea­son for three weeks so its stars can chase gold for their home coun­tries.

From Alex Ovechkin and Jonathan Toews to Con­nor McDavid and Hen­rik Lundqvist, the world’s best play­ers called play­ing in the Olympics im­por­tant. The league de­cided other­wise.

Com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Com­mis­sioner Bill Daly in­formed the NHL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion that the mat­ter was “of­fi­cially closed” af­ter weeks of spec­u­la­tion.

The NHLPA said in a state­ment that play­ers are “ex­traor­di­nar­ily dis­ap­pointed and adamantly dis­agree with the NHL’s short­sighted de­ci­sion.”

The NHL had al­lowed its play­ers to par­tic­i­pate in the past five Olympics dat­ing to 1998, giv­ing the Win­ter Games pro-level star power akin to the NBA play­ers who par­tic­i­pate in the Sum­mer Olympics.

The league said no meaningful di­a­logue had emerged in talks with the NHLPA, In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee and In­ter­na­tional Ice Hockey Fed­er­a­tion.

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