More than a month has passed since the NHL announced itand on the controversial decision.
But an organizing committee for the South Korea games is holding out hope that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the rest of the league will change its mind and approve a stoppage of regular-season play for the 2018 festivities.
"I don't think they made the final decision so far," committee president Lee Hee-beom said Monday, according to the Associated Press. "(There is) still room to discuss and negotiate."
The NHL's stern April statement suggests otherwise, alluding to the NHL Players Association's apparent opposition to discussing changes to Olympic Winter Games participation with the following line: "We now consider the matter officially closed."
The organizing committee, however, is leaving the matter open for interpretation.
"I'm ready to meet with (NHL) delegations wherever it is they say to do so," the committee president said, per the AP. "Very recently I met their delegation in Pyeongchang, not only the athletes' side, but also the labor union side. Not only in Pyeongchang, but also in New York. Nothing is concluded until the final conclusion is made."
If that truly is the case, the league might have some big-name players back on its side -- Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson chief among them. It might satisfy the International Ice Hockey Federation, which continues to push for an NHL-Olympic partnership, even through not-so-subtle Twitter inquiries.
And, most of all, it might capitalize on a worldly renowned opportunity to enhance the "positive business" the NHL all but claimed the Olympics would prevent in its April announcement. It comes at the risk of a regular-season break and, of course, player injuries, but it also marks an obvious route of choice for factions of the NHL's stars, its fans and its in-need-of-expansion market.