Oly par­tic­i­pa­tion all about the money: Bettman

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - SPORTS - By Jonas Siegel

ing costs — trans­porta­tion and in­sur­ance chiefly — that have been cov­ered for the past five Olympics. PITTS­BURGH — NHL com­mis­sioner Bach took over the IOC’s presidency Gary Bettman said NHL par­tic­i­pa­tion shortly before the 2014 Olympics and in the next Olympics would likely hinge ev­i­dently doesn’t be­lieve, ac­cord­ing to on money. Bettman, in “spe­cial sub­si­dies” for any

In his an­nual state of the union ad­sports, even the NHL, which in­ter­rupts dress at the Stan­ley Cup final, Bet­tits sea­son for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Olym­man said the league and NHLpics.Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion might have to re­con­sider Bettman said that res­o­lu­tion of the their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Olympics if ex­pense is­sue would “have a sig­nifithe In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee cant im­pact on our decision,” which is went ahead with its threat of not pay­ex­pected some­time af­ter the Septem­ing out-of-pocket ex­penses for NHL ber World Cup, likely in De­cem­ber or play­ers. Jan­uary, NHL deputy com­mis­sioner

“Among the var­i­ous things that have Bill Daly said. to be cov­ered, whether it’s trans­porta“I’m pretty sure that our teams are tion or in­sur­ance or ac­com­mo­da­tion, not re­ally in­ter­ested in pay­ing for the it’s many, many, many mil­lions of dol­priv­i­lege of dis­rupt­ing our sea­son,” lars,” Bettman said of the ex­penses. Bettman said. “But we’ll have to see “This is no small-ticket item.” what they ul­ti­mately de­cide to do.”

IIHF pres­i­dent Rene Fasel re­cently The 2018 Olympics will be held in re­vealed the IOC and its pres­i­dent South Korea. Thomas Bach aren’t in­ter­ested in pay- Bettman also noted ex­penses wouldn’t be the sole is­sue of de­bate in dis­cus­sions be­tween the NHL and NHLPA as it re­lates to Olympic par­tic­i­pa­tion, but said if the IOC and IIHF aren’t go­ing to cover what they’ve pre­vi­ously paid, “that al­most be­comes an easy show­stop­per and you don’t even have to get into the other dis­cus­sion.”

“Ev­ery­body un­der­stands what dis­tin­guishes us from any other pro­fes­sional sports league or pro­fes­sional sport that par­tic­i­pates in the Olympics, this comes right in the mid­dle of the sea­son and there are hard costs to that par­tic­i­pa­tion,” Bettman said. “We’re send­ing roughly 150 play­ers to the Olympics if we go and there are real, lo­gis­ti­cal, costly el­e­ments to do­ing that.”

Bettman of­fered a more de­fin­i­tive timetable on a decision for ex­pan­sion. He said the NHL’s board of gov­er­nors would meet in Las Ve­gas prior to the June 22 NHL awards with a decision on ex­pan­sion, which could in­clude Las Ve­gas and Que­bec City.

The three pos­si­bil­i­ties, he said, were no ex­pan­sion, de­ferred ex­pan­sion or ex­pan­sion to one or per­haps both mar­kets.

“I am not go­ing to hand­i­cap what’s go­ing to hap­pen,” Bettman said.

Daly said the NHL and NHLPA dis­cussed what the pa­ram­e­ters of a po­ten­tial ex­pan­sion draft would look like. No-trade clauses, Daly noted, would not pre­vent a player from be­ing ex­posed to ex­pan­sion.

“A trade is a trade, and if you have a no-trade clause it doesn’t mean you can’t be ex­posed in the ex­pan­sion draft,” Daly said.

The ear­li­est any ex­pan­sion team could start play­ing is the 2017-18 sea­son, with de­fer­ral also a pos­si­bil­ity on the docket.

As for the up­com­ing World Cup and one ros­ter ques­tion mark, Bettman stressed sus­pended de­fence­man Slava Voynov would not be el­i­gi­ble to play for Rus­sia de­spite be­ing named to its final 23-man ros­ter. He said this has been made clear to the Rus­sian fed­er­a­tion.

GENE J. PUSK AR / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILES

NHL com­mis­sioner Gar y Bettman has his back up over the IOC’s stance.

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