Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/18/14 at 08:12 AM ET
The National Hockey League (NHL) was non-committal about players' future participation in the Olympics on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility that the Sochi Games might be the last to showcase the world's best players.
The three most powerful men in hockey - Rene Fasel, head of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association chief Donald Fehr - had no firm answers for reporters when asked whether NHL players would be back in four years' time.
"Yes, Rene would love for Don and I to say today that we are coming (to Pyeongchang), but he knows that's not the case," said Bettman. "This is the fifth time we have participated in the Olympic tournament - where we are in this process should not be a shock to anybody."
In North America, talk persists that Sochi will mark the final time that NHL players will be seen on Olympic ice. Bettman insisted nothing has been decided and negotiations would continue, as has been the case after every Winter Games.
"Let's try to be very clear, it's nothing that's been discussed, it's nothing that will be discussed while we are here in Sochi," said Bettman.
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