NHL players to compete in Beijing 2022 Olympics

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The NHL returns to the Olympics.

The League and the NHL Players Association announced on Friday that they have reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation to confirm a hiatus to the 2021-22 NHL regular season schedule to allow the participation of players from the NHL. NHL at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.

It will be the first Olympic Games for NHL players since 2014 in Sochi and the first best-for-best international tournament since the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.

“We understand how passionate NHL players are about representing and competing for their country,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We are very happy to have been able to make arrangements that will allow them to resume competing from the best to the best on the Olympic stage.”

The agreement allows for the possibility of a later decision to opt out in the event that evolving COVID-19 conditions are deemed by the NHL and NHLPA to render the participation of NHL players impractical or dangerous.

“Representing their country at the Olympics is important for the players, even in these uncertain times,” said NHLPA general counsel Don Zavelo. “The players are looking forward to donning their country’s hockey jerseys at the upcoming 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing as they battle for the gold medal.”

The 2021-22 NHL season concludes February 3-22 for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and the Olympic Men’s Hockey Tournament, which will culminate with the game for the gold medal on February 20.

“I know I can speak for hockey fans around the world when I say we absolutely welcome the decision to bring the best ice hockey back to the Olympics,” said IIHF President Rene Fasel. “We had many constructive discussions and a lot of hard work went into making this happen within the time frame we set for ourselves, and I want to thank all parties involved for their support and commitment.”

NHL players competed in five Olympics from 1998 to 2014, but did not go to PyeongChang in 2018. The League’s position is that playing in the Olympics disrupts the NHL season, especially when it doesn’t. does not take place in North America.

But last year, when the NHL and NHLPA extended the collective agreement to the 2025-2026 season, they agreed to go to the Olympics if they could come to a deal with the IIHF.

“You know what the league’s traditional and historic stance has been on the Olympics,” Daly said on June 28. “We remain of this opinion, and in fact, with the future Games in Beijing and the uncertainty continues with [COVID-19] and the Games being halfway around the world, (not) necessarily ideal Games to choose to go to.

“Having said that, we negotiated in good faith with the Players’ Association last summer. We agreed that if the conditions were right and we could come to an agreement on all the material issues that we would initiate and support from go to the Olympics. “

The Czech Republic won gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, the first to feature NHL players.

Since then, Canada has dominated the best-over-best competition, winning five of the last six tournaments: the World Cup in 2004 and 2016, and the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. It won 16 consecutive victories. the best of the best games.

Sweden won gold at the Turin Olympics in 2006.

The United States won silver in Salt Lake City and Vancouver.

Some of the world’s best NHL players could make their Olympic debuts in Beijing, including Connor mcdavid (Canada), David Pastrnak (Czech Republic), Sebastien aho (Finland), Nikita Kucherov (Russian Olympic Committee), Victor hedman (Sweden), Leon Draisaitl (Germany) and Auston matthews (United States).

The tournament will include 12 countries classified into three groups. China, along with recently qualified teams from Slovakia, Latvia and Denmark, who took the final seeds last weekend in the latest men’s Olympic qualifying tournaments.


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