One of the most respected National Hockey League (NHL) players of Russian origin, Viacheslav Fetisov says NHL players will not risk losing their club contracts to play at 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Former Detroit Red Wings and NHL All-Star Team defenseman Fetisov commented on the NHL’s decision, according to which the league will not allow its players to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) head Rene Fasel also recently said, talking to Russian outlet Sport-Express, that his federation “respects and will respect the NHL contracts” and will not back players wanting to compete at the Games despite the ban.
"No idiot will terminate the contract with the NHL club to play the Olympics,” said Fetisov to RT.
“For Alexander Ovechkin, the current situation is an unpleasant thing. He will miss his chance to become an Olympic champion. Although in 2022 at the Games in Beijing, Alexander might get another chance," added Fetisov.
Fetisov, a member of the legendary Russian Five of Detroit Red Wings, also stressed that the absence of the NHL players will negatively affect the level of competition at the Olympic tournament.