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Hockey bodies discussing Olympics again this week

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The NHL, NHLPA, IOC, and IIHF are coming to the table again this week to discuss whether the pros will be playing in Sochi next February. A decision seems imminent with the Games approaching, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says no deal will be done until everyone is satisfied.

“We’ve got to get to it sooner rather than later,” Bettman told the Associated Press, “because doing next year’s schedule is obviously impacted by whether or not we go to the Olympics.”

On top of the already stated issues of media rights, access, and accommodations at the Games, the NHL and NHLPA are concerned about who will pay for the insurance to cover the athletes on the ice.

NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider has dubbed the situation a “logistical nightmare,” but still thinks the deal will get done, though most assume it will take another month or so.

“If it’s done properly, it could be an amazing hockey experience for everyone,” Schneider added. “Obviously the players want to go. The guys want to be there. That’s no secret.”

On top of the Olympics, the sides will also discuss creating a Champions League style tournament where the best teams from all the top leagues – NHL, KHL, OHL, etc. – compete for the world title, and bringing back the World Cup of Hockey, which was discontinued back in 2004. So hockey now wants to be soccer. Joy.

Ex-Canadian Olympic Committee president sorry for behavior, quits law firm

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MONTREAL (AP) — Former Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut has apologized for his behavior amid allegations he sexually harassed several women.

He said in a statement Friday he has been “living in turmoil,” offering “unreserved apologies” from the “bottom of my heart” to all who have been hurt by his conduct. The 67-year-old Aubut adds he is leaving his BCF law firm and seeking counseling.

Aubut resigned as Canadian Olympic Committee president last weekend after women accused him of sexual comments and unwanted touching. Interim president Tricia Smith has said the organization’s board was not aware of “any specific interactions that would be construed as harassment.”

Aubut was CEO of the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques until the team moved to Colorado in 1995. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

MORE: Canada sets Rio 2016 medals goal

Magnificent Seven reunion in the works

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Magnificent Seven teammates had a message for team captain Amanda Borden after they won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

“You have to get us back together,” Borden remembered in a phone interview Friday.

Reunions have been rare in the last 15 years, but Borden said she’s been in contact with all of her teammates to arrange at least one get-together in 2016 to mark the 20-year anniversary of their Olympic triumph.

“It’s easier said than done,” said Borden, who owns two Phoenix-area gyms with her husband and has three children. “I know every one of us really wants to make it happen. We are definitely doing it. It’s just a matter of if all of us can be there.”

It may happen in Atlanta. It may be at a USA Gymnastics event, such as the Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., in July. It may be somewhere less visible, such as a warm beach.

It probably won’t happen in Rio de Janeiro, because it’s hard to coordinate the schedules of all seven women for an event abroad, even though some will be at the Olympics anyway.

Borden and Kerri Strug said they don’t remember all seven members of the team being together since 2008, the year the Magnificent Seven shared a stage for a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame induction (photo here).

“[Borden] has put out the feelers; it seems like we’re on board,” Strug said while in New York last month for an Epson “Swimming in Ink” event with U.S. synchronized swimmers. “Do we want to do a cruise or take a vacation?”

The other Magnificent Seven team members were Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon MillerDominique Moceanu and Jaycie Phelps.

MORE GYMNASTICS: Shannon Miller recalls 1996 Olympic podium thoughts in book excerpt