The NHL has revealed that a final decision on whether to allow players from the North American ice hockey league to compete in the 2018 winter Olympic Games will be made in about six months’ time.
Bill Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner, said that he expected a much quicker resolution ahead of the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea than the four-year stand-off that eventually led to players being allowed to participate in the 2014 winter Games in Sochi. The NHL has shut down its league for two weeks so its players can compete in Sochi.
“It should not take all that long, but I would have said the same thing coming out of 2010,” Daly said. “We will have a broader discussion with the players' association on international competition and what we are doing internationally. That discussion is underway so I would anticipate a quick resolution in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months.”
Although the Games in PyeongChang could be viewed as an ideal opportunity to grow the sport in Asia, Daly added: “There are a lot of negatives that come along with the Olympics.”
The NHL’s players first competed at the Olympics in Nagano, Japan back in 1998, but Daly said: “We are much more visible on the worldwide stage so we are at a different stage in our evolution and development than we were in 1998. That is a factor that you throw into the mix when you consider whether the Olympics makes sense for you going forward.”