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