Report: IOC, IIHF open to addressing NHL's concerns about Olympics
The governing bodies of international sport and hockey have taken a big step in negotiations over the NHL's potential Olympic participation in 2022.
Following a meeting earlier this week, the IOC and IIHF indicated a willingness to address the issues the league has raised about taking part in the Beijing Games, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
That's a significant shift from what the IOC and IIHF indicated months earlier, although NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league still wants to tie Olympic participation to the ongoing CBA talks, Friedman added.
On Saturday's edition of Sportsnet's "Saturday Headlines," Friedman explained which concessions the IOC and IIHF are open to discussing.
"That includes insurance, that includes travel costs, and it also includes the marketing rights - the ability to use the Olympic video (of) the players themselves on the league's and the players' own platforms," he said.
Friedman added the NHLPA is encouraged by this latest development.
"The players do feel that, hey, this addresses everything that's been a concern," he continued. "It addresses everything that's (been) brought up, and the union and the players also feel that ... the CBA goes past the next date of the Olympics in February 2022. They don't think it should matter, but the fact is, wherever the negotiations go, this is a huge step from the governing bodies to get the players to go."
The NHL and NHLPA will resume CBA talks this week. The current agreement will run through the 2021-22 season, after the NHLPA chose not to opt out back in September. The union's decision came after the NHL decided not to exercise its own option to reopen the agreement in August.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman previously expressed the league's reluctance to take part in the 2022 Olympics, saying in January that "we're very comfortable not going." Back in November, he called Olympic participation "incredibly disruptive" to the NHL season.