NHL Announces Deal With IIHF To Break For '14 Sochi Games
The NHL on Friday announced it has reached an agreement with the IIHF to secure participation of NHL players in the '14 Sochi Games for its Feb. 12-23 ice hockey tournament. The NHL will break from the '13-14 regular-season schedule on Feb. 9 and return to play Feb. 26 (NHL). NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "calls the decision 'difficult' but one that will be popular with players and fans" (AP, 7/19).
The league also unveiled the full season schedule and announced that the four realigned divisions will be called the Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic. TV partners NBC, CBC, TSN, RDS and NHL Network return for the upcoming season. TV highlights include the NHL Face-Off North American launch event, which includes Maple Leafs-Canadiens on the CBC and a Capitals-Blackhawks, Jets-Oilers doubleheader on NBC Sports Network. Either NBC or NBCSN will televise five of the six outdoor games, including the Bridgestone Winter Classic, Tim Hortons Heritage Classic and Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games (NHL).