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BREAKING: NHL Will Not Participate in 2018 Olympics

This won’t come as a surprise to most.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

After much speculation, it has been confirmed that the NHL will not participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. NHL owners and higher ups were opposed to Olympic participation because of the 17 day break in the schedule required in February to allow players to play in the games. Injuries are also a concern, as 4 NHL players sustained season ending injuries in the Sochi Olympics.

This means that Olympic teams will have to fill their rosters with non-NHL players, which will particularly affect the USA and Canada. For NCAA hockey fans, the question becomes “how will this affect our season?” Team USA could likely fill a team with top AHL or even ECHL players, but it is also possible that they could add some top college players to the team. Luckily for BC, our highest ranked player next year should be Eeli Tolvanen, and Finland will easily be able to fill a team with players currently playing in the Finnish league.

It is also important to note that while the NHL’s statement states that there will be no break in the schedule, it does not say that the NHL will ban players from participating in the Olympics. It is possible that lower-tier players or stars with a lot of negotiating power (Alexander Ovechkin), could be allowed by their teams to miss NHL games in order to play in Pyeongchang. Considering most players seem to want the NHL to participate in the Olympics, it will be interesting to see how this develops...