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Sport Bettman: Olympic participation 'incredibly disruptive' to NHL season

04:35  09 november  2019
04:35  09 november  2019 Source:

NHL, NHLPA still discussing league's participation in Olympics

  NHL, NHLPA still discussing league's participation in Olympics As collective bargaining continues to progress between the NHL and NHLPA, one of the major issues still in discussions is the league’s participation in the Olympics. The NHL notably sat out the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the owners’ complaints included the extended break in the league season, the injury risk to star players, and the lack of value in the locale. With the first two arguments unchanging and the next two Games being held in Beijing, China and Milan, Italy, it is unlikely that the NHL Board has changed their stance on Olympic participation.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said in the past several months that the owners were against Olympic participation for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was the 17-day break in the schedule required in February, a time when the National Football League 's season has ended and

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday that the Winter Olympics previously have been " incredibly disruptive " to the league and he doesn't anticipate NHL players participating in the 2022 Games in Beijing. Speaking in a panel discussion at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains resistant to the idea of allowing the league's players to participate in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

Gary Bettman wearing a suit and tie© Icon Sportswire / Getty

"I don't want to sound like a broken record on the subject, but I think going to the Olympics is a challenge for us," Bettman said during a press conference Friday at the Global Games in Sweden, according to Sportsnet's Emily Sadler.

The league announced in April 2017 that its players wouldn't participate in the 2018 Olympics. It marked the first time since 1998 that NHL players didn't take part in the Winter Games, and it sounds like Bettman prefers to continue with that approach.

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The possibility of NHL participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics hinges on whether the I'm pretty sure that our teams are not really interested in paying for the privilege of disrupting our season , but However, Commissioner Bettman said that regardless of what happens for the 2018 Olympics

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said teams became skeptical of interrupting the NHL season when the IOC would not treat the NHL like a sponsor. The NHL wanted to be featured as a sponsor of the Olympics , but the IOC turned them down. Without payment from the Olympics , Bettman explained

"I know the players love representing their countries, I know that the players like going, I know that the players that don't go like having a break in the middle of the season," he said. "But from our standpoint, we have found going to the Olympics to be incredibly disruptive ... to our season."

Bettman also confirmed that he recently met with International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel but couldn't provide any significant update on their discussions regarding the NHL's Olympic participation.

"We had another meeting. We've had many, many meetings, and there is no news to report," Bettman said. "I would suggest it was more a philosophical and procedural discussion. (NHLPA executive director) Donald Fehr also participated in the meeting, but I have nothing to report on that front."

The NHL traveled to Shanghai for preseason contests in both 2017 and 2018 as part of the China Games. In July 2019, the league sent Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin to China to serve as a league ambassador.

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