NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly went on record earlier today saying NHL players will not be going to the 2018 Olympics being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In an email sent to The Hockey News, Daly has decided to put these rumors to rest, once and for all:
“I’m happy to be on the record […] There is not an alternative schedule. Having NHL Players participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is not an available option. All of the international federations are planning appropriately for constructing teams that will not include NHL players. I anticipate there will be federation announcements in the coming days that should eliminate any and all continuing doubt or skepticism about the issue.”
In doing so, he puts an end to the rumors which were circulating last week concerning the possibility of an alternate schedule for the 2017-2018 NHL season, in which a hiatus was set-out to allow NHLers to attend the winter games.
This news comes a day before Hockey Canada is set to announce their team building plans, further cementing the idea that the 2018 Olympics will be a no-go for NHL players. It will be interesting to see whether any players will voluntarily jump ship to play for their native countries during these games, Alex Ovechkin having allured to this possibility earlier this season.