Despite no Progress, NHL Working on Schedule to Accommodate Olympics
TORONTO – The National Hockey League is putting together two schedules for 2017-18 — one in case the NHL goes to the Olympics in 13 months in South Korea, one if it doesn’t.
Commissioner Gary Bettman had previously stated a decision regarding NHLers attending the Winter Games would be needed by mid-January in order to start cobbling together a schedule for next season. The fact that the league now is putting together two suggests that stance has softened.
The IOC has resisting payment of out-of-pocket expenses for NHL players in 2018, a figure that is believed to be upwards of $10 million US. There also is a reluctance among owners to shut down the league for two weeks during the middle of the season.
“There has to be a compelling reason for us to go to the Olympics at this point and as I stand here now we’re still searching for that reason,” Daly said.
Daly said the league is waiting on a formal response from the IIHF relating to the IOC’s position on expenses.
“Do the dynamics change in such a way that we’re in a position to go back to the board and say ‘We understand that a number of you, a good number of you, don’t see the benefit for participation in the Olympics. This is the reason you should reconsider that and decide as to whether it’s a good thing or not for your club and for the league as a whole and the game as a whole.'” Daly said.
“We’ll see how things unfold once we hit January.”