It’s been reported by TSN today that the NHL and IIHF negotiations are not completely dead and buried as we are lead to believe. According to the report that IIHF president Rene Fasel declared that his organization remains in discussions at the table with the NHL for their potential participation in the 2018 Winter Games.
Weeks ago I wrote a piece with the information that was available at that time that Gary Bettman originally stated the disapproval of club owners for their players to play in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics that are hosted by the South Koreans.
Apparently this time around there is timetable that needs to met if in fact the NHL is firm in its commitment to have it’s players participate in the Winter Olympics.
“The problem is that the NHL always takes a large number of guests,” Fasel told the German newspaper (translated by Inside the Game’s Nick Butler). “In Vancouver, we had between 600 and 800 and in Sochi over 400. In South Korea, it would be similar. Gangneung [the site of Olympic hockey games] does not have extra hotel rooms. We can only release these capacities by the end of June, at the latest mid-July.” Per TSN.ca Staff
For the NHL there was also factors that came into play with their original decision in backing league owners and surrounded the injuries that incurred in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi Russia.
The following is from my post that I wrote several weeks ago regarding the injury bug that brought a dark cloud during the negotiation process between both sides.
In the 2014 Winter Olympic’s hosted in Sochi, Russia several NHL superstars were victims of the injury bug that carried over to their NHL team they played for. To name of few Islanders Captain John Tavares, Detroits Captain Henrik Zetterberg, Ryan Kessler of Anaheim, and Rangers Mat’s Zuccarello.
Each of those players were out of service for a significant amount of time for their respected NHL clubs when they returned from the Olympic break.
Another factor that painted a bad light on the NHL side was that Bettman’s concessions were deemed as being unreasonable.
“[Bettman] claims the same rights for the NHL as a TOP (The Olympic Programme) sponsor who pays $100 million,” Fasel said. He wants to use the Olympic Rings for the NHL. If the IOC says yes, what do we do with athletics, swimming, gymnastics, skiing, ice skating? Then we would have to grant these rights to all the big sports federations. It is also about the principle.” Per TSN.ca Staff
For the Vegas Golden Knights they recently signed former KHLer Vadim Shipachyov who came from SKA St. Petersburg. In international play Shipachyov brings with him 3 tournament medals (1 Gold in 2014, 1 Silver in 2015, and 1 Bronze in 2016). All of those were won during the World Championships in their respective years.
He brings with him to Vegas 29 games in World Championships tournament with 13 goals and 25 assists to his credit at an impressive 1.31 PPG. His overall international figures are 93 games with 25 goals and 45 assists.
If things turn out for the better for both sides going into the 2018 Winter Games this will mark the 6th consecutive participation of the NHL in the Olympics that dates back from 1994 that took place in Lillehammer, Norway.