NHL nixes Olympics participation, says it will not go to South Korea in 2018

Like it or not, the NHL is not going to the 2018 Olympics.

That became official Monday, as the league announced it will not participate in the Pyeongchang games. The decision was not a surprise. Two weeks ago, commissioner Gary Bettman said to “assume we’re not going.”

While some players, namely the Washington CapitalsAlex Ovechkin, have gone on record to support Olympic participation, the NHL made it clear Monday that it will not break up its regular season to accommodate certain players’ wishes.

In fact, the NHL emphasized in its Monday announcement that it was open to considering an Olympics partnership on the condition that the NHL Players Association make a potential participation “more attractive to the clubs.” But that evidently did not occur.

Here is the league, backing up its stance to withhold from the Olympics:

We have previously made clear that while the overwhelming majority of our clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-18 NHL season for purposes of accommodating Olympic participation by some NHL players, we were open to hearing from any of the other parties who might have an interest in the issue (e.g., the IOC, the IIHF, the NHLPA, etc.) as to reasons the Board of Governors might be interested in re-evaluating their strongly held views on the subject ... And the NHLPA has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the clubs. As a result, and in an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 regular season schedule without any break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games. We now consider the matter officially closed.

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