Report: NHL Not Going to Olympics

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According to reports, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed that NHL players will not be going to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

NHL Officially Out of Winter Olympics

This news comes somewhat as expected after the NHL and NHLPA agreed earlier this week to put the NHL season on hold until after Christmas. 

The spike in Covid cases around the NHL has prompted the league to move swiftly in stopping its spread. With around 15% of the league in protocol and 44 games postponed already, the NHL and NHLPA decided the best course of action was to halt operations.

The 2022 Olympics in Beijing are set to begin on February 4. The preliminary round for Men’s Ice Hockey is scheduled to commence on February 9 and run straight through to the Gold Medal game on February 20.

NHL Misses Second Straight Olympics

This marks the second straight Winter Olympics that the NHL will not be represented by its players. The NHL decided to pull out of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang due to a series of disputes between the league and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the costs incurred by NHL athletes and who would cover them.

Those disputes between the NHL and IOC were resolved in time for the 2022 games. But China’s strict restrictions for anyone testing positive for covid have also played a part in their decision. 

Players who test positive for Covid while in China face up to a five-week quarantine period. The risk of teams’ star players not being available for over a month is obviously not ideal for any league owner.

On top of that, the NHL has a multitude of games to make up for because of postponements from Covid. If the NHL wants to avoid a big schedule shakeup, the ability to utilize the Olympic break to make up games is quite alluring.

With positive Covid cases rising more and more each day around the league, the NHL and NHLPA have decided it is not worth the risk to its players and league to be represented at this year’s Olympics.

Canada and USA are set to begin their quests for Gold on February 10. Team Canada will play against Germany and the Americans against the host country, China.

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