Seattle: Commissioner Gary Bedman said there would be a break for the 2022 Winter Olympics in the NHL schedule on Wednesday, with no confirmation that the league’s players will travel to Beijing in February.
I do not believe there will be an update on the Olympics at the time we release the schedule, said Bedman ahead of the Gragan expansion draft in Seattle. Do what we have to do in the circumstances of publishing the table, and then do what needs to be done if things turn out well.
During last month’s Stanley Cup final, Bedman raised doubts about whether the league would participate, citing security and logistics concerns and a tight deadline.
His tone hasn’t changed greatly in weeks, and Thursday’s schedule release said it will have built-in mechanisms to fix if players don’t participate.
Last month, Bedman said the only reason the NHL was still in discussions with Olympic officials was last summer when the league made an attempt to participate in the 2022 Games as part of expanding the collective bargaining agreement with the athletes.
We agreed during the strike that it would be done under the appropriate terms and conditions if the players wished (we would do it), “Bedman said.” Also the players association is working there are some open issues I know of.
The NHL participated in five consecutive Olympics, starting in 1998, before skipping the 2018 Games in South Korea.
Bedman declined to explain how the schedule would be adjusted if the Olympic break was not required.
I’m not going to skip the release. Let’s put it this way: it would be self-explanatory, he said.
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