If the NHL won't continue to embrace some of its aging heroes, then the United States men's hockey team just might.
USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson, according to NBC Sports' Nick Zaccardi, is in the midst of recruiting NHL players who might retire to lace up for the 2018 PyeongChang Games. The NHL has repeatedly said it will not sanction player participation in the Olympics, which take place during the 2017-18 regular season.
Johannson said he has already talked with one player who "might retire" about joining the Olympics team, per Zaccardi, and there could ultimately be a handful of ex-NHL standouts who get the U.S. GM's pitch.
"There are a few NHL players that we're waiting to see what they're waiting to do," Johannson said Friday. "Without naming names, there are some guys that have a rich history in the NHL and with USA Hockey that we think could potentially really help this roster. For what I do, I always try to get as much quote-unquote weaponry to the coaches. Trust me, we're going to dig over every stone to see what the options are and what the fit is."
After longtime Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher's retirement this week, a slew of other big-name veterans could very well follow suit and subsequently garner interest from their national teams. Those names include 45-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who at least publicly remains intent on returning to the NHL, and 40-year-old forwards Shane Doan and Jarome Iginla.