Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/08/13 at 07:03 PM ET
from the CP at TSN,
If NHL players are to continue participating in the Olympics, it's going to involve a delicate political dance.
The issue was not resolved as part of the tentative collective bargaining agreement reached by the NHL and NHL Players' Association early Sunday morning and will now need to be hammered out between those parties and two others with strong ties to Rene Fasel -- the International Ice Hockey Federation, of which Fasel is president, and the International Olympic Committee, of which he is an influential member.
It's been clear for some time the NHL is seeking to receive more of a direct benefit for closing its doors every four years in February and handing over its most important assets. The tension was evident when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Fasel held a joint press conference at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Bettman lamented being nothing more than an "invited guest" at the Olympics with no say in how the event was run....
Now the NHL is looking to get a little more out of that relationship. According to sources, the changes it is expected to seek range from smaller issues such as access to tickets, hotels and better hospitality for team owners to larger things like sponsor recognition and a loosening of the IOC's notoriously strict guidelines on images, video and media.
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