SBD/May 10, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Game On? NHL Close To Committing To Participation In '14 Olympic Games

NHL would go dark for 16 days if it participates in '14 Sochi Games
The NHL is "closer to committing its players to next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi ... pending the approval of team owners and provided other issues can be resolved," according to the CP. Some details of the NHL's participation in the Games were "revealed Friday in Stockholm following a meeting between representatives" from the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF, IOC and the Sochi organizing committee. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, "We are proceeding under the assumption that the NHL will participate in Sochi." The NHL would "go dark Feb. 9, 2014, with approximately half of the 30 NHL clubs playing their last games Feb. 8." The league would then "resume Feb. 25, two days after the gold-medal game." The men's Olympic tournament starts Feb. 12. Meanwhile, one of the "major issues to be resolved is player insurance." IIHF President Rene Fasel did "not name a deadline for when an agreement needs to be reached," and Daly gave "no indication when the NHL would give its final approval for Sochi" (CP, 5/10). Russian Hockey Federation Exec Dir Valeriy Fesyuk said that the NHL may announce its participation "as early as 10 days from now, after the conclusion of the IIHF World Championships" currently being held in Sweden and Finland (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/10). NHL.com's Dan Rosen notes team rosters can "include up to 22 skaters and three goalies," an "increase of two skaters from previous Olympic tournaments." IIHF Sports Dir Dave Fitzpatrick said that the participating countries will be "requested to announce their tentative rosters at least six weeks before the start of the Olympics" (NHL.com, 5/10).
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