Rene Fasel, a 67-year-old former hockey player and now the president of International Ice Hockey Federation, confirmed in his interview with a German newspaper that the National Hockey League is still in negotiations with IOC to include the said sports in the 2018 Olympics.
In nine months’ time, the 2018 Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea but Fasel knew that Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, already made up his mind not to join the Olympics. The statement Fasel provided was misleading as it was giving false hope to hockey fans.
Bettman reiterated his decision not to join the Olympics to Fasel over the phone. Bettman knew that Gary will be holding a press conference in Paris and he wanted to stop Fasel’s misleading statements.
The main reason why Bettman no longer wants to join this year’s Olympics is because of the change in compensations. The IOC has decided that they will not pay the players’ insurance, hospitality, and travel costs.
The NHA joined the Olympics for five times and they marked a memorable ice hockey playoff over the years. It is sad that we will no longer see this team in the 2018 Olympics.
Fasel also convinced Bettman that he could cover the compensation that is supposed to be given by the OIC. The IIHF is willing to support the players just to let them join the upcoming 2018 Olympics. Bettman did not want that offer; instead, he insisted that the compensation comes directly from the OIC.
The only way out is for the players to express their interests to the owners and show how important the Olympic is for them. They could have a meeting with the owners and extend their deepest want to be part of the prestigious sports event.
NHA has a lot of excellent ice hockey players to offer and some of them are Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Kane. If these three players joined together as a team in the Olympics, they can break a record and their names will surely leave a mark in history forever.