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    The NHL, NHLPA Agree To Not Participate In 2022 Winter Olympics

    The NHL and NHLPA have come to an agreement to not participate in this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing due to COVID-19.

    “The NHL understands and respects the NHL Players’ strong desire to represent their countries and participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. We have carefully considered all options to make this possible, but due to significant disruptions caused by recent COVID-related events, including the postponement of 50 games until December 23rd, we regretfully cannot proceed with Olympic participation. We acknowledge the efforts of the IOC, IIHF, and the Beijing Organizing Committee. Despite everyone’s best efforts, current circumstances have made it impossible. We eagerly anticipate NHL Players’ involvement in the 2026 Olympics.”

    Both parties have negotiated Olympic participation in 2022 and 2026. After the players didn’t participate in the 2018 Olympics. Both parties believed it was necessary to negotiate in the latest collective bargaining agreement. The NHL had until January 10th to opt out without any financial penalty, according to ESPN.

    “We are excited for the participation of the world’s top hockey players from other elite ice hockey leagues in Beijing,” stated the IOC in a statement. “Their impressive performances in Pyeongchang garnered a significant international viewership, showcasing the thrilling and passionate ice hockey that we can anticipate.”

    NHL plans going forward

    Many amateur players and professional players outside the NHL are going to fill the rosters for the Olympics. This includes North American minor leagues or possibly overseas players.

    “We are disappointed by the NHL and NHLPA’s decision, but we fully comprehend the circumstances that necessitated this action,” stated Luc Tardif, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, in a statement. “The rapid impact of COVID-19 on the NHL schedule was surprising, and we acknowledge that the NHL’s decision prioritizes the health and safety of its players.”


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