It has officially been reported that the NHL will not be sending its players to South Korea for the 2018 Winter games. The reports of the NHL not wanting to participate have been circulating for a while now. Many fans seem disappointed in the matter.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has issues with financial set up of the games mainly because the International Olympic Committee was not going to pay for traveling and housing fees like they did in previous years. While networks like NBC benefit from the NHL’s participation, Bettman feels like the league itself will not.
There are also reports saying that a majority of the NHL owners were not in favor of sending them either because of the additional physical toll it puts on players. As usual the season would go on a several-week hiatus while the games are played and many players participate.
The NHL has participated in every Winter Olympic games since 1998 and that streak will end after 20 years. While it may be disappointing for many, I think there still can be very entertaining hockey to watch. Heck the most famous USA Olympic hockey story in 1980 wasn’t NHL players.