Matthews, McDavid want NHL to participate in 2022 Olympics

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Two of the NHL's biggest stars are voicing their hope that the league will return to the Olympics.

Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers want a chance to represent their respective countries on the world's biggest stage. They expressed their feelings one day after IIHF president Rene Fasel said the NHL has been given until the end of August to determine whether it will send players to Beijing in 2022.

"A lot of guys take a lot of pride in playing for their country, so the Olympics is top of the tops as far as that goes," Matthews said on Monday ahead of his matchup with McDavid, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "That'd be a pretty amazing experience to be able to put on the U.S. jersey and play in a tournament, for sure."

McDavid feels the same way.

"Anytime you get a chance to represent Canada on a best-on-best tournament, it's always so special and makes for the best hockey. So, I definitely hope that I get that opportunity one day," he said.

The NHL didn't send its players to the games in 2018 for the first time since 1998. Matthews and McDavid are just two of the numerous players who have said they'd relish the opportunity to play in the Olympics.

However, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remained resistant to the idea when asked about it in November, saying the tournament is "incredibly disruptive" to the NHL season.

The most recent best-on-best tournament for players over 20 years old was the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, when Matthews and McDavid dazzled as linemates on Team North America. Both players have also received a taste of international play at the world juniors and world championship.

Matthews is currently second in the NHL in goals this season with 28, while McDavid is tied for the league-lead in points with 65 through 44 contests.

Matthews, McDavid want NHL to participate in 2022 Olympics
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