NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has confirmed what we already knew: the NHL is not sending players to the Olympics in 2018.
This is not new information. The NHL has been saying for months now that their players would not be participating in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.
The talk of players participating kicked up last week when some Russian players claimed there was an alternate NHL schedule in place in case the NHL changed its mind, according to Sport-Express writer Alexei Shevchenko (via Slava Malamud).
— PHWA (@ThePHWA) July 24, 2017
Daly went on the record with Ken Campbell of the Hockey News to discount those reports.
“There is not an alternative schedule. Having NHL Players participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is not an available option. All of the international federations are planning appropriately for constructing teams that will not include NHL players. I anticipate there will be federation announcements in the coming days that should eliminate any and all continuing doubt or skepticism about the issue.”
One of those announcements is expected to come Tuesday afternoon when Team Canada discloses how it plans on building a roster that will compete in Korea.
Should the NHL hold true to its stance, this will mark the first time that the best professional players in the world will not be in the Olympic Games since 1994.