Elliotte Friedman reported today that there is still a possibility that professional hockey players in North America could be going to the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, those professionals aren’t going to be coming from the NHL.
Report: AHL-Only Contracts Could be Going to Olympics
The news from Friedman states that AHL-only contracts could be loaned to their respective national teams. For clarification purposes, this does not mean that players on two-way contracts playing in the AHL would go, as they are under contract with their respective NHL organization.
While this situation isn’t set in stone yet, this is a promising development. The hopes of these talks is to move towards releasing all players currently in the AHL to the Olympics.
As that story arrives, news comes that players on AHL-only contracts can be loaned to their respective Olympic teams for the Games. https://t.co/Apum0sXEOW
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 18, 2017
This would be a massive step in the right direction to fielding competitive teams in the Olympics. Friedman also stated that there has been no final ruling on whether or not the two-way contracts currently in the AHL would be allowed to attend the Olympics.
This whole situation stemmed from when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman decided that the NHL would not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. While most, if not all, NHL players did not support the decision to forgo the Olympics, they will not be getting the break mid-season to allow them to attend.
While this news is rather fresh on the AHL-only contracts, there is still much to be finalized. And with no final ruling on the AHL/NHL two-way contracts, there is still plenty to be sorted out before the Olympics arrive this winter.
Canada Hoping to Play in Pre-Olympic Friendly
AHL-only contracts might not be the only ones participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Originally reported by Russian outlet R-Sport, Hockey Canada is in talks with the Russian Hockey Federation to organization a pre-Olympic friendly between the two nations.
Stay tuned for more developments on the Olympics as they come out.