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NHLERS ARE CLOSE TO GOING BACK TO THE OLYMPICS

While the new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players still needs to be ratified, there are multiple reports that it includes an agreement to have NHLers participate in the Winter Olympics once again.

"From what I understand, NHL players will compete in (at least) the 2022 Games if new CBA is finalized and there is a financial agreement with the International Olympic Committee. Prior to the pandemic, the IOC indicated it would consider these incentives for the NHL and NHLPA to return to the Olympics after they did not go to South Korea in 2018," wrote Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

This is great news for players and fans alike. Many players have expressed a desire to return to the Olympic stage to play hockey. The tournament is a favourite among fans due to the fact that, when NHLers are involved, it is truly a showcase of the best players in the world playing for the pride of their countries.

"We are expecting some kind of clarity about the negotiations over the next few days. While both sides have been grinding away at the details, it is challenging to predict how the NHLPA membership will react," said Friedman.

However, it is worth noting that Olympic participation is something players have been pushing for the last few years. Washington's Alex Ovechkin had indicated in more than one interview that he would participate whether the NHL sanctioned it or not.



There are a few reasons why the league is not interested in having players involved on the Olympic stage. It causes a disruption in the regular season, there is concern that players will get injured while taking part and, of course, there is no financial benefit to the league itself. Hopefully this all gets worked out as a true best-on-best Olympic tournament can produce some of the best hockey a person can watch.

TIM TUCKER
JULY 1, 2020  (10H45)