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NHL Reaches Deal With IOC, IIHF Allowing Players To Participate in '14 Sochi Games
Published July 22, 2013
STICKING POINTS: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont noted NHL participation "was considered a fait accompli, but commissioner Gary Bettman needed more assurances from the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation on such details as game video being made available for extensive use on nhl.com" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/21). In DC, Katie Carrera noted while the NHL "receives a publicity boost from the involvement of its players, coaches and officials in the Olympics, there was debate as to whether the league should continue to take part." Concern over "potential injury to players, the drawbacks of halting the NHL season in mid-winter and bargaining of media rights were among the top issues as the league and NHLPA worked out an agreement" with the IOC and IIHF. However, there was "never any doubt that the players wanted to remain involved" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/20).
BIGGER IS BETTER? In Chicago, Chris Kuc noted the agreement between the NHL, NHLPA and IIHF "stipulates seven NHL referees and six NHL linesmen will be integrated into the IIHF on-ice officials’ crews that will work the men’s tournament and the contests will be played on international-sized rinks." During the '10 Vancouver Games, the hockey competition was "played on a smaller, NHL-sized rink at the home of the Canucks" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/20).