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Friday, June 14, 2024

Will NHL Players Compete in Next Olympics? IIHF Wants Answer

  • IIHF president Luc Tardif said he would like the NHL and NHLPA to decide on its 2026 Olympics participation by the spring of 2024.
  • The NHL and its players' association missed the last two events.
NHL
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL and its players association have been given a rough timeline to decide on their participation in the 2026 Olympics after missing the last two events.

International Ice Hockey Federation president Luc Tardif said Thursday he would like a decision by Spring 2024 to provide two years of preparation. The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to go if they’re able to reach a deal with the IIHF and IOC.

  • The NHL skipped the 2018 Olympics following the IOC’s decision to not pay for travel- and insurance-related costs — like it had the past five Olympics. 
  • The league pulled out of the 2022 Olympics due to pandemic-related schedule changes. 

“I’m optimistic, but everybody has to make an effort to be there,” Tardif said. “You need to have the same rules as other athletes. We are not a travel agency. We organize a competition.”

Tardif added, “If we discussed directly with the players — the players want to go — we would find a way. But it’s more complicated than that.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said it’s a “reasonable timeline” to decide. 

Global Events

There’s clear interest from the league and players association to compete against other countries — the pair planned to host a World Cup of Hockey in February 2024, which reportedly fell through due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In November, they announced plans to hold the event in 2025.

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