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Category: International-Hockey

NHL Statement On The Olympics

NEW YORK (April 3, 2017) -- The National Hockey League today released the following statement regarding the 2018 Olympic Winter Games:

“We have previously made clear that, while the overwhelming majority of our Clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-18 NHL season for purposes of accommodating Olympic participation by some NHL players, we were open to hearing from any of the other parties who might have an interest in the issue (e.g., the IOC, the IIHF, the NHLPA) as to reasons the Board of Governors might be interested in re-evaluating their strongly held views on the subject. A number of months have now passed and no meaningful dialogue has materialized. Instead, the IOC has now expressed the position that the NHL’s participation in Beijing in 2022 is conditioned on our participation in South Korea in 2018. And the NHLPA has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the Clubs. As a result, and in an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 Regular Season schedule without any
break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games. We now consider the matter officially closed.”

added 3:54pm, from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

The NHL announced Monday that it will not participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, ending a run of five consecutive Winter Olympics with NHL players....

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 Major League Baseball's season has yet to begin.

"I think the realities of Olympic participation are more apparent to our Board now and I think it just leads to less enthusiasm about the disruption," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles in January. "Quite frankly we don't see what the benefit is from the game standpoint or the League standpoint with respect to Olympic participation."

The NHL conducted polls in both Canada and the United States to determine if fans were in favor of the League taking a break in February to allow players to compete in the Olympics. In the United States, 73 percent said they were not in favor. In Canada, it was 53 percent against the break.

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Wanted And Needed: A Few Good Men For Team USA World Cup

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

Something needs to change. USA Hockey uses a management group to recruit players and form the roster. Maybe it’s time to follow Hockey Canada’s lead and rotate an NHL GM or NHL assistant GM to be in charge. It adds more accountability.

This year, Ron Hextall is the leading candidate to build Team Canada. He’s not an easy guy to say no to when he calls. It’s become too easy for American players to turn down Jim Johannson and the USA Hockey crew.

It’s time to give a bigger management role to former players who aren’t so far removed from playing the game -- guys like Bill Guerin, Chris Drury, Craig Conroy and Doug Weight....

Just looking at likely non-playoff teams, there could be a Team USA Worlds roster consisting of Dustin Byfuglien, Blake Wheeler, Justin Faulk, Jaccob Slavin, Cory Schneider, Ben Bishop, Jimmy Howard, Dylan Larkin, Jack Eichel, Keith Yandle, Shayne Gostisbehere, Vincent Trocheck, Kyle Palmieri and Kyle Okposo.

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  Tags: team+usa

IIHF Women’s World Championship Starts On Friday In Plymouth MI

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship begins Friday (March 31) at USA Hockey Arena in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Michigan, with athletes from the top eight nations in the world competing for the gold medal.

Continue Reading »

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The IOC On The NHL Participating In The Olympics

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

Last week, International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel said his organization needed to know by the end of April whether or not NHL players would be competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Afterwards, I reached out to the International Olympic Committee to see if its deadline was the same. Overnight Tuesday, IOC spokesman Mark Adams replied by email:

“We know that the players definitely want to play and the fans want to watch the best players in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. These Games give the greatest worldwide exposure to the sport of ice hockey. The offer for the two Olympic Winter Games 2018 and 2022 remains on the table and we are still hopeful there will be an agreement in the interests of all.

“Because of the interest of the Olympic Movement to see the NHL players in the Olympic Games, the IIHF has ensured that the travel and insurance cost of the NHL players will be fully covered, as was the case in previous Olympic Games.

continued

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The Latest From The IIHF On The Olympics

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation remains hopeful for an NHL Olympic resolution but again made it clear that skipping the tournament in South Korea in 2018, then coming back to play in Beijing in 2022, is not the way to go.

"We have previously stated that the NHL can't just pick and choose which Olympics to participate in," Rene Fasel said in a statement to ESPN.com from the IIHF on Monday. "Our discussions are focused on going to Pyeongchang, and any discussion about Beijing can wait until this has been settled.

"Building ice hockey's profile in Asia is one of the top mandates of my current presidential term. There is a rising interest in the sport within Korea, and we would miss a huge opportunity to grow the game if we didn't have a best-on-best showcase in this country."

continued

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NHL Players On The Olympics

from ESPN,

Do you want the NHL to participate in the Olympics? Why or why not?

Ben Bishop, Los Angeles Kings: "Yes, I think they should go to the Olympics. Fans and players get so excited for it. If we didn't go, it would be a big letdown to both."

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks: "I think so. Firsthand experience, it was a great experience for myself. I was in Torino and then in Vancouver. I think it's good for hockey, I think it's good for hockey worldwide. It definitely promotes players going and representing their countries and I know players really enjoy it."

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: "I can only speak for myself, but my answer might be a little different just because I didn't get a chance to play [in Sochi] because of injury last time, so I really want to go.

continue for more from Stamkos and many more players...

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Donald Fehr On The Olympics

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The NHL should not be waiting for the players to give up something in return for Olympic participation, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told ESPN on Thursday.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this week that if things stayed status quo, "assume we are not going" to next year's Winter Olympics. Many read that as an inference that the league wants the players to give something back so they can participate.

"I don't know what it can be from the players' perspective,'' Fehr told ESPN in a phone interview Thursday. "Obviously the players are not about to engage in collective bargaining in return for getting an opportunity to go to the Olympics for which they aren't being paid, where very valuable things would go elsewhere in return for that....

The bottom line, Fehr said, is the next two Olympics are a great opportunity for hockey.

"We do want to grow the game internationally, and I think the NHL shares that view," Fehr said. "I think they believe as we do that we have some advantages and we have an opportunity; and when you're doing that, you have to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

"Having two Olympic Games in Asia within a span of five years is not your ordinary kettle of fish. I don't know if it's unique, but I can't think of anything else which is close to it in terms of the potential exposure it would give.''

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  Tags: donald+fehr

The Real Negotiations Are About To Begin Regarding The NHL And 2018 Olympics

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

The negotiations are about to begin. No more posturing. No more pleasantries. We will soon hear about a deadline date. We will know in short order whether NHL players will play on the Olympic ice in South Korea next February. All sides will decide how important it is to play in the Games. My gut says the next three weeks are key — before April 12 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. No one wants the Olympic discussion to become a distraction then.

Perhaps that day becomes the deadline?

Far to one side, the International Olympic Committee. Set in its ways and happy to spend other peoples' money (not just hockey's) for infrastructure and the glory of the Olympic movement. The formula has worked well for the IOC. Through summer and winter Games, scandal and deceit, doping and bribery, the Olympic movement just keeps chugging along. No reason to change, no reason to share the wealth. After all, if you change for the NHL, you’ll have to change for other leagues and organizations that are involved, such as the NBA, PGA, LPGA and both of tennis’ governing bodies. If you pay for hockey, you might just have to pay for other sports, too.

Far to the other side, the National Hockey League. The 31 owners and a senior executive at the league office who can’t comprehend what the value of the Olympics are anymore if there isn’t some form of compensation or acknowledgement of hockey’s best league. It goes beyond tickets and access or the ability to use video footage. It is about answering a simple question: What’s in it for us?

read on

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The Olympic Debate

Commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated on Tuesday that he doesn't think the NHL players will be taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. But what's really going on here? Will the players go or is this just another bargaining tactic by all sides involved? ESPN writers Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun weigh in.

Burnside: Every time I hear Gary Bettman say how much the owners hate the Olympics and how no one should expect the NHL and its players to be in South Korea for the 2018 Olympics, the more convinced I am that it's only a matter of time until we get confirmation the NHL and its players will be back for the sixth straight Olympic hockey tournament. Why? Simple. Bettman can't afford not to go, no matter how much the Olympic tournament disrupts the NHL schedule. He can't afford to have the world's eyes on a bunch of collegiate players and long-in-the-tooth former NHLers in PyeongChang while the NHLers are toiling away back in North America....

LeBrun: Let's remember how we got to this ridiculous Olympic stalemate. It began more than a year ago with IOC president Thomas Bach saying his governing body was no longer covering costs for the NHL players, as it had at past Olympics. Thank you, Mr. Bach, for poking the bear. Now some NHL owners care about an issue they really didn't think that much about previously -- it gave the NHL an opportunity to make this an issue. This is the same Thomas Bach who referred to his first presence in meeting with the NHL early last month as a "courtesy" visit. Gee, don't inconvenience yourself while people figure out whether or not the best players in the world should be playing in your Olympics hockey tournament....

more from Burnside and LeBrun

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The Latest On The Olympics From Gary Bettman

from Sportsnet,

As more players and owners are speaking up with their opinions on the NHL’s involvement in the 2018 Olympics, commissioner Gary Bettman was the latest to comment on the stand-off.

Speaking to Reuters Tuesday at the Sport Business Summit in New York, Bettman said there were no negotiations currently ongoing between the league, IOC and IIHF and that perhaps people should start thinking about the very real possibility the league stays out of the Pyeongchang Games.

“As things stand now people should assume we are not going,” Bettman said.

The NHL has raised a few concerns with going to the 2018 Games, not least of which is that the league has to shut down for two weeks and send its best players to an event they don’t control. Just last week, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was recalling the 2006 Games when his goalie, Dominik Hasek, went to play for the Czech Republic as Ottawa looked poised to go on a Cup run. Hasek was injured at the Games and never played for the Senators again.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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