Bettman: Olympic participation 'incredibly disruptive' to NHL season
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains resistant to the idea of allowing the league's players to participate in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
"I don't want to sound like a broken record on the subject, but I think going to the Olympics is a challenge for us," Bettman said during a press conference Friday at the Global Games in Sweden, according to Sportsnet's Emily Sadler.
The league announced in April 2017 that its players wouldn't participate in the 2018 Olympics. It marked the first time since 1998 that NHL players didn't take part in the Winter Games, and it sounds like Bettman prefers to continue with that approach.
"I know the players love representing their countries, I know that the players like going, I know that the players that don't go like having a break in the middle of the season," he said. "But from our standpoint, we have found going to the Olympics to be incredibly disruptive ... to our season."
Bettman also confirmed that he recently met with International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel but couldn't provide any significant update on their discussions regarding the NHL's Olympic participation.
"We had another meeting. We've had many, many meetings, and there is no news to report," Bettman said. "I would suggest it was more a philosophical and procedural discussion. (NHLPA executive director) Donald Fehr also participated in the meeting, but I have nothing to report on that front."
The NHL traveled to Shanghai for preseason contests in both 2017 and 2018 as part of the China Games. In July 2019, the league sent Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin to China to serve as a league ambassador.
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