Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Olympic officials, NHL to meet about Sochi Games

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Olympics and NHL officials are meeting in New York Thursday and Friday to finally discuss the league’s participation in the Sochi Games next February.

Groups including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA director Donald Fehr, and IIHF President Rene Fassel will meet to discuss the NHL’s willingness take a two week break next year so its players can participate in the the Olympics.

Bettman already stated his issues with the NHL’s involvement in 2010, when he said: “It costs us money; it disrupts our season… We must basically hand over control of our most important asset, our players.” But last week, Fassel said that Bettman “has no other choice — he has to come to Sochi.”

The players, especially Russian stars Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, are making a strong push for playing, but apparently the NHL and NHLPA are looking for a deal that includes better access to players, use of images and video, and better accommodations and tickets for the NHL.

Or “basically being treated as if it was a major sponsor of the Olympics,” as TSN’s Bob McKenzie explained last week. He also called the player’s involvement “all but a foregone conclusion.”

Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months