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The NHL/NHLPA Will Participate In The Winter Olympics

added 11:05am, via Adam Steiss of IIHF.com,

They’re back: NHL players to participate in 2022 Olympic Games

The National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), and the IIHF have reached a joint agreement confirming NHL player participation in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. 

The agreement comes following months of negotiations between the three organizations to ensure a safer and secure participation for all NHL players competing at the Games. 

“I know that I can speak for hockey fans around the world when I say that we absolutely welcome the decision to bring back best-on-best ice hockey to the Olympics,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “We had many constructive discussions, and a lot of hard work was put into making this happen within the time we set out for ourselves, and I want to thank all parties involved for their support and commitment.”
 
This will be the sixth Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament that includes NHL players, beginning with the 1998 Nagano Games. NHL players did not participate in the last Olympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018, when the Olympic Athletes from Russia team defeated Germany, 4-3 in overtime – the golden goal coming from Kirill Kaprizov, who made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild last season and is a candidate for the men’s ROC team. 

“We welcome the decision of the NHL, which will allow their players to participate in the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. All the parties who were involved in coming to this agreement should be commended for this excellent result,” said IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell.

“We understand how passionately NHL Players feel about representing and competing for their countries,” said Bill Daly, deputy commissioner for the NHL. “We are very pleased that we were able to conclude arrangements that will allow them to resume best on best competition on the Olympic stage.“

"Representing their country in the Olympics is important to the players, even in these uncertain times," said Don Zavelo, NHLPA General Counsel. "The players look forward to pulling on their nation's hockey sweater at the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as they compete for the gold medal."

The agreement also means the potential Olympic debuts for some of the world’s top NHL players such as Connor McDavid (Canada), David Pastrnak (Czech Republic), Sebastian Aho (Finland), Nikita Kucherov (ROC), Victor Hedman (Sweden), Leon Draisaitl (Germany), and Auston Matthews (USA), among many other potential national team candidates.

The tournament will include 12 countries seeded into three groups. Joining the top-eight nations that were seeded into the tournament according to the 2019 IIHF World Ranking – Canada, ROC, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, USA, Germany, and Switzerland – will be tournament hosts China as well as the recently qualified teams from Slovakia, Latvia and Denmark, who earned the final seeds last weekend in the Men’s Final Olympic Qualification tournaments. 

This agreement also provides the NHL and NHLPA with flexibility to monitor the COVID-19 situation and, ultimately to not send NHL players if the COVID conditions require such.

Click here for more information on the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and qualification.

The game schedule for the tournament is currently being developed and will be released in the coming weeks. 

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

TreKronor's avatar

Some interesting and important tidbits from that memo:

The NHL and NHLPA have the right to terminate the participation agreement prior to the Players leaving for the Games.

...All participating Players will have their contracts insured in the event of an injury, consistent with what has been in place for prior Olympics.  The IIHG and/or the federations will cover the costs of this insurance.

...No insurance for covid related illnesses.  The IOC/IIHF refused to pay for the cost of this insurance and insist that Players take on all the covid risk…..IIHF has agreed to create a $5 million fund to help cover lost NHL salaries due to covid.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/03/21 at 10:03 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

The first paragraph I quoted (NHL/NHLPA having right to terminate) makes me think the NHL will not end up participating.  It goes on to talk about how they have the right to terminate if COVID causes regular season games to be cancelled, which it most assuredly will. 

The NHL does a great job here looking like the bigger person and giving in, while I think it’s fair to assume the players will not end up going.  If they do though, they got the IIHF to cover insurance which is big.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/03/21 at 10:05 AM ET

Mr. Fnytelhatt's avatar

The NHL does a great job here looking like the bigger person and giving in, while I think it’s fair to assume the players will not end up going.  If they do though, they got the IIHF to cover insurance which is big.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/03/21 at 11:05 AM ET

In a perfect world, the IOC should cover the insurance. Hockey is, I am lead to understand, easily the biggest draw of the winter olympics, and the IOC are dealing with, and making, startling (if not offensive) amounts of money.

I used to be a staunch supporter of the Olympics and the IIHF (two completely different entities, obviously), and two olympics ago I would have growled and sneered at the NHL’s completely bastardly insistence that everyone else pony up and that they are only allowing players to go out of goodness of heart, but… I think both the IOC and the IIHF will come out all right, financially.

However, the IOC and the IIHF are making a mistake if they presume that I will take anything but a hostile interest in an Olympic Games held in West Taiwan. Or (looking at you René Fasel) Belarus. But that’s another matter entirely.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 09/03/21 at 01:31 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

However, the IOC and the IIHF are making a mistake if they presume that I will take anything but a hostile interest in an Olympic Games held in West Taiwan.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 09/03/21 at 02:31 PM ET

“West Taiwan.” Nice one, Mr. F.  And I’ll be taking an equally hostile interest in the CCP Olympics. I won’t watch one second of any of it. And anyone who cares about the 6,000,000+ people who have died because of the CCP’s actions need to think about the message their support (or lack of support) sends to the CCP and the rest of the world.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/03/21 at 02:07 PM ET

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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.

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