In L.A., Helene Elliott writes IIHF President René Fasel hopes the disagreements between the NHL and NHLPA "won't spill over to include NHL players' participation in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia." With the league's current CBA set to expire Sept. 15 and "nothing in the air but hostility, prospects are dicey that the NHL will again halt its season to send players to Sochi for exposure that's not in prime time." Fasel "clearly wants to see the league and union agree on returning to the Olympics," and he has talk about it with NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr. Fasel said, "For us, for sure it is very important they could come to an agreement to come to Sochi. It means a lot for our sport and it means a lot for the NHL." He said that he "remains optimistic the NHL will send players but added that the IOC would have to know in 2013 so alternative plans could be made" (L.A. TIMES, 1/17).
TIME TO MOVE ON? THE SPORTS NETWORK's Jim Brighters wrote the PGA Tour "should bid a permanent goodbye aloha to opening the season in Hawaii." The Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Sony Open in Hawaii "are things of the past; hopefully, the permanent past." With each "passing year, the tour's top stars have skipped it more frequently." Hawaii is "beautiful, but who wants to travel that far?" (THE SPORTS NETWORK, 1/16).
BACK TO THE SALT MINES: On Long Island, Ken Davidoff noted with his two-year contract extension, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "has three years to solve the messes in Flushing, Oakland and Tampa Bay and somehow keep more problems from sprouting (which naturally won't happen)." Selig is "going down in baseball history as one of the most active commissioners, and most of his innovations have succeeded." Davidoff wrote, "One hope: If Ryan Braun can't beat his appeal for the failed illegal PED test, then Selig needs to stop bragging about his work with illegal PEDs and, more specifically, touting the young generation of players as clean. It just can't lead to any good" (NEWSDAY.com, 1/16).