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Bettman comments on Olympics and kills any hope of NHL players attending

Tim Tucker   ·   25 janvier 2020
For anyone holding out any hope that NHL players would be participating at the next Winter Olympics, you may want to let it go. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was asked about the chances of that happening ahead of the NHL's All-Star Game this weekend and his comments put a stake through the heart of any possibility that the NHL would be willing to let its players get involved again.

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"From our standpoint, we believe--and our experience both with going to five Olympics and then not going to PyeongChang--tells us that going is extraordinarily disruptive to the season," said Bettman. "I won't take you through the litany of reasons why. You've all heard me say it. So, I know it maintains itself as a priority for the Players Association, but having said that, we were very comfortable with not going."

It's hard to imagine that those comments don't seal the deal on any hopes of having NHL players participate in the next Olympics in 2022. It seems very clear that the league has made up its mind and any chance of changing it is minimal at best.



The league's stance does have some merit. You're looking at a two-week break mid-season in order to allow players to participate, while also running the risk of major injuries to star players. At the same time, without the participation of NHL players, Men's Olympic Hockey is not truly a best-on-best tournament and will never carry the same amount of hype and excitement as when NHL players are involved. Unfortunately, it appears clear the league has its mind made up and players and spectators will simply have to live with that decision.



SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON