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Category: NHLPA

If NHL Players Still Plan On Playing In The Olympics

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The expectation is that the NHL will step in to stop all potential individual player participation in the 2018 Olympics.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sent a memo to all 31 clubs on Monday instructing team officials to not comment on potential individual participation, saying that the league will rule on the subject.

You can rest assured that a team of lawyers on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan is already working on that policy, with the goal of quelling the chatter of a revolt sooner rather than later.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly admitted on March 17 – more than weeks before Monday’s announcement ¬– that the league was already contemplating how to combat a free-for-all.

“We’ve started giving some to thought to that. It’s certainly not an issue that we have to resolve today,” Daly told the Ottawa Sun. “I would be surprised if we allowed it to be club-by-club issue at this point. I think there will be a league response.”

Daly declined to comment further about the league’s response on Tuesday.

So, what can the NHL do to curb individual players from leaving their club?

One option would be to issue a rule stating that any player who leaves his club next February to play in the Olympics will be banned from playing for his team for the remainder of the season, including the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The belief is any such unilateral order would quickly be grieved by the NHL Players’ Association, who would likely feel that stiff a penalty and change to the rules would need to be bargained.

more

Here is what Gary Bettman said on the topic last night on Sportsnet,

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Gary Bettman Talked Olympics Tonight On Sportsnet

from Emly Sadler of Sportsnet,

“NHL clubs have not wanted to go to the Olympics and we have been saying that for months if not years,” said Bettman. “All we’ve done is confirmed it.”

“There are lots and lots of opportunities for us to grow the game internationally and they’re not dependent on us shutting down in the middle of the season to go to the Olympics.”...

“NHL clubs don’t like having to shut down at a critical part of the season and disrupt our season for anything, let alone a situation where we’re not given an opportunity to promote our presence,” he said.

The commissioner also pointed out that while Olympic attendance has been included in past collective bargaining agreements with the players' association, it is not part of the current CBA.

“We’ve tried it, but it doesn’t work,” Bettman said, citing the previous five Olympics games in which NHLers have competed.

“Not only has it not done anything for our game, particularly here in North America where our franchises play, it’s been damaging to the seasons in terms of the competitiveness, in terms of the compression of the seasons, and injuries to players.”

more and you can listen/watch the 19 minute interview too...

added 8:10pm, from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Video- Donald Fehr Today

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Executive Director of the NHL Players Association Donald Fehr talks about it being to premature to talk about what could happen if players go to the Olympics without the consent of the NHL

 

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Morning Line- Craig Custance

Any notion that these two sides -- the NHLPA and NHL -- were partners in growing the game appear to be gone, thoughts of shared press conferences preceding the World Cup of Hockey a distant memory. You can already see the two sides retreating to their corners.

-Craig Custance of ESPN when answering this question- What will be the most notable fallout from the NHL's decision not to go to the Olympics?  More from Custance and the ESPN hockey crew.

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Not Good For Our Game

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

I have to tell you, I never thought they’d do it.

I thought someone would step up at the last second. Or, I thought NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman would hold his nose and say, “As much as I hate this…we’ll go.”

Let me say this in no uncertain terms: this is bad. It’s bad for hockey. South Korea may not be China, but it’s not the Solomon Islands. There are a lot of people and influential sponsors who could be exposed to the game.

The Olympics are a fantastic showcase, the pinnacle of sport. The players love it, fans love it. I loved covering them. It’s terrific. Hockey does not win by missing out.

Here’s the problem: it’s not so easy to pick the villain. Bettman is an obvious target, and being commissioner means you eat it. The job and salary comes with that responsibility.

continued

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NHLPA Statement On The Olympics

TORONTO (April 3, 2017) - The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) released the following statement regarding the NHL's decision on the 2018 Winter Olympics:

"The players are extraordinarily disappointed and adamantly disagree with the NHL's shortsighted decision to not continue our participation in the Olympics.

Any sort of inconvenience the Olympics may cause to next season's schedule is a small price to pay compared to the opportunity to showcase our game and our greatest players on this enormous international stage. ​

A unique opportunity lies ahead with the 2018 and 2022 Olympics in Asia. The NHL may believe it is penalizing the IOC or the players, or both, for not giving the owners some meaningful concessions in order to induce them to agree to go to PyeongChang. Instead this impedes the growth of our great game by walking away from an opportunity to reach sports fans worldwide.

Moreover, it is doing so after the financial issues relating to insurance and transportation have been resolved with the IOC and IIHF. The League's efforts to blame others for its decision is as unfortunate as the decision itself. NHL players are patriotic and they do not take this lightly. A decent respect for the opinions of the players matters. This is the NHL's decision, and its alone. It is very unfortunate for the game, the players and millions of loyal hockey fans."

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“Shifting Attitude” Towards Gambling

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Komarov is the new global ambassador for NordicBet, a European-based betting website. His sponsorship deal is the first of its kind for an active NHL player and signals a shifting attitude within the sport about affiliations with gambling.

Todd Diamond of International Sports Advisors Co., the agency that represents Komarov, said the arrangement was cleared with the Leafs front office before it was finalized.

It didn’t raise any red flags for the NHL or NHL Players’ Association, either.

“It doesn’t violate our rules as long as he isn’t directly promoting sports wagering and as long as the advertising is limited to where NordicBet’s business is legal,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet.

Komarov was actually approached by multiple betting companies, according to Diamond, and found NordicBet most appealing because it is a publicly traded company in Sweden.

“They are sensitive to the legalities and concerns of Leo,” said Diamond....

With the NHL expanding to Las Vegas starting next season, it’s reasonable to expect more of these deals to start emerging in the hockey world.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: leo+komarov

Afternoon Line- Scott Burnside On Hockey In China

The NHL will have to commit resources to support that infrastructure in helping to coach the coaches and administrators who might oversee a fledgling hockey culture in China.

It's the kind of grandiose plan that will need the support of business leaders in North America and China to make a reality. It is the kind of plan with a million moving parts, a million things that could once again leave NHL powerbrokers wondering if it was all worth it.

But if it's done right, it does represent the kind of magic the NHL envisioned when it first sent its players to the Olympics in 1998 and which has, in many ways, eluded the league.

-Scott Burnside of ESPN where you can read more on this topic.

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Afternoon Line- Donald Fehr On The 2018 Winter Olympics

“I’ve been in this business too long to make predictions either on timing or anything else, I think at this point, we have to wait and see how it plays out. I think, however, if we end up not going, the reaction from the players’ side — across the board — is not going to be a good one. And my guess is it’s going to last for a very long time.”

-Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA.  Michael Traikos of the National Post has more on this topic.

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  Tags: donald+fehr

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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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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