The National Hockey League announced Monday afternoon that it will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. It will be the first time since 1994 that the NHL won’t take part in the games.
In Monday afternoon’s statement, the NHL said “We now consider the matter officially closed” after talks had been going on for the past few months.
Lots of sentiments have been brought to light due to the league’s decision. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated that it “feels very sorry for the athletes”. Moreover, the feelings have mainly been those of dissatisfaction, dismay, and disappointment. Officials from Hockey Canada and USA Hockey were disheartened by the decision yet still intend on sending players over to the games from their program.
Even though the NHL as a whole will not be going to the 2018 games, players such as Alex Ovechkin have said that they still plan on taking part. How would the league stop its players from up and leaving to play for their country? We’ll have to wait and see what happens when the time comes.
This decision is one of the many controversial ones made by Commissioner Gary Bettman and the rest of the NHL. Down the road, the NHL and NHLPA could butt heads over a lot more.