NHL 'not even close' on agreement to send players to Olympics
The NHL remains hesitant in permitting its players to compete at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.
Despite a report suggesting the IOC and IIHF indicated a willingness to address the issues the league has raised over participating in the Beijing Games, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly assured that talks remain preliminary.
"We aren’t there yet. In fact, we aren’t even close to being there," Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Monday, according to ESPN. "At this point in time, we continue to believe that the negatives outweigh the positives."
The setbacks come one week after NHL and NHLPA officials met in New York. At the meeting, the IIHF provided mostly verbal assurances, rather than written, in addressing many of the concerns that resulted in the NHL missing the 2018 games in South Korea.
The longstanding roadblocks addressed by IIHF chief Rene Fasel include payment for players' travel and insurance costs. Another issue was allowing the league and union access to video and images in order to market its players. All of which have the backing of the NHLPA.
Daly acknowledged the meeting was positive but said the league continues to hold reservations over shutting down its season for two weeks and having its schedule disrupted for Olympic participation.
No firm deadline has been set when it comes to the NHL potentially sending players in 2022, but NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr hopes an agreement can be met well before Fasel's term as IIHF chief expires in September.