The National Hockey League stated earlier today that there had been radio silence when it came to their talks with the IIHF regarding the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, and it seemed obvious that this was a pressure tactic from the league. Why else would you have your deputy commissioner Bill Daly make that statement during the World Cup of Hockey and on media day no less?
It looks more and more like we are headed towards a situation where the NHL and the IIHF will continue to butt heads, and we could very well see NHL players blocked from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games, except maybe one.
Washington Capitals star forward Alexander Ovechkin dropped a bombshell on the NHL following their comments today, indicating to ESPN insider Pierre Lebrun that he was going to the Olympics in 2018, regardless of what the league has to say about it.
Here's how Lebrun described the situation:
I asked Ovechkin twice, the 2nd time to be sure, and he said his plan would be to play in South Korea 2018 regardless if NHL there or not.
Rest assured the NHL will not be happy about these comments and considering who is making them it puts the league in an incredibly difficult position, it also can't be undersold how bad this is for their bargaining position, especially if other players follow the example set by one of the faces of the NHL.