Hockey insiders Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said Wednesday that the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) contained plans for the NHL to go back to the olympics.
If the NHL/NHLPA finalize things, if the players ratify it, and subject to negotiation with IOC, sounds like proposed CBA extension includes the NHL’s return to Olympic participation covering both 2022 and 2026. Which is ????
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2020
“From what I understand, NHL players will compete in (at least) the 2022 Games if new CBA is finalized,” Friedman said on Sportsnet. The bid would ultimately have to be approved by both the NHL and the NHLPA, ratified by the players and be negotiated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). (RELATED: Porn Company Allegedly Offers To Provide Funding After Under Armour Tries To Ditch UCLA Deal)
The NHL originally did not go to the Olympic games in 2018 due to scheduling issues, per CBS. The NHL, in a statement, said that its clubs were strongly opposed to ending the season early in 2017-18 to join the olympic teams but would be open to hearing arguments from interested parties.
The IOC said it would consider incentives for the NHL and NHLPA to return to the Olympics in the future, according to Friedman. Players, notably Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin, were vocal in opposing the decision to not play in the 2018 Olympics. “NHL players in the Olympics is good for hockey and good for Olympics,” Ovechkin said, per ESPN, “It sucks that will we not be there to play!!”
NHL training camps for Phase 3 of the Return to Play plan are scheduled to begin on July 10.