With NHL commissioner Gary Bettman adamant that the NHL will not be participating in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games from South Korea, fans and analysts have speculated for months about the eligibility of AHL players. With North America’s biggest league saying, “no thanks” to the Olympics, could its second biggest league take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity?
Nope. At least, not according to NHL insider and Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman. In his latest 30 Thoughts article, Friedman writes:
It doesn’t sound like players on NHL contracts playing in the AHL will be allowed to compete in South Korea. But, if you spend next season overseas, there’s going to be some room to play. The rules aren’t written yet, but that is the word.
So there you have it. The NHL continues to exert itself on the hockey world and squash out anything resembling a blemish against itself. Given that the AHL and the NHL are partners it’s not a surprising development, but a disappointing one nonetheless.