NHL Player Alex Ovechkin Hoping To Represent Russia At 2018 Winter Olympics
While the NHL has been "firm" on its position to not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, NHL Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is "still hopeful" he can represent his native Russia in PyeongChang, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the WASHINGTON POST. Ovechkin said, "We'll hope I'll be allowed to participate. There's always a chance." He added that there has not been "any change in his status," and he also has not contacted players from other NHL teams about their intentions for the Olympics. In May, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "We have an expectation that none of our players are going." Now that the NHL has announced its '17-18 schedule, which includes an All-Star Game in Dallas, the league’s decision "appears final with no Olympic break scheduled" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/7).
NO MINOR LEAGUERS: The AP reported players with NHL contracts, "even those in the minors," will not be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics next February. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the league's stance on Monday. The league announced in April that it would not be "stopping its season" to go to the Olympics for the first time since '94. Daly: "A decision has been made that all players under NHL contract will be subject to similar treatment." This means players signed to two-way NHL contracts or who are loaned to minor league affiliates by their clubs will not "be available" to the U.S., Canada or other national teams (AP, 8/7).