Bettman says don’t bet on NHL participation in next Olympics

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, right, and NHL Player's Association Executive Director Donald Fehr take part in announcing the return of the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 in Toronto, during a news conference at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel says he had a "good discussion," with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr about the world's top hockey players participating in the 2018 Olympics, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Gary Bettman said NHL players likely won’t be allowed to play in the next Winter Olympics.

The story:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Tuesday “as things stand now people should assume we are not going” to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic games. “There are no negotiations ongoing,” Bettman told Reuters at the Sport Business Summit in New York. “We were open to having discussions on a variety of things that might mitigate the damage to our season but that had no resonance.” The NHL has sent its players to the Olympics since 1998, but Bettman has reported that the majority of owners have grown weary of the hardships that result from the NHL shutting down the regular season for an extended period to accommodate Olympic participation. The potential for injuries and the IOC’s decision not to pay travel and insurance costs for NHL players also have altered owners’ support for sending players to the Olympics.

Jordie from Barstool Sports on this situation:

Anyway, the fight between the NHL and the 2018 Winter Olympics have been raging on since the very moment that the Sochi games ended. We’ve been going on 3 years strong with this same passive aggressive bullshit. Bettman says he doesn’t want the league to stop for 2 weeks for these guys to play at 5 am EST in South Korea. Then Alex Ovechkin comes in and says he’s playing in the Olympics regardless of what the NHL decides. Then Bettman comes out and says none of the owners want their guys to go to the Olympics. Then we get about 500 TSN articles quoting Canadian players on how much playing for their country means to them. It’s been back and forth for 3 years now and I don’t give a damn what Bettman says to assume or not assume. Until these idiots come out with an actual concrete decision on what the league is doing for the 2018 games, everything else is just a bunch of words that are coming out of some random mouth into the air never to be heard from again.

Max Pacioretty:

Jakub Voracek:

“It’s stupid and I find it absolutely ridiculous,” said Voracek, who represented the Czech Republic at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. “Absolutely ridiculous. We have it once every four years. I read something that Bill Daly said we’re not going. Nobody wants you to go. It’s the Olympics. It’s not just about business. You want to be part of the Olympics. And trust me, players want to go. And the players who don’t go get a week off to recharge their batteries. If you have bumps and bruises, you can heal and recover. The players want to go, I guarantee you that. I want to see how you are going to hold (Alex) Ovechkin back. The Russian players. Tell them they can’t go.”

Twitter reacts:

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