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.
The U.S. Olympic marathon trials will air live for the first time, on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. ET.
The top three finishers in each of the men’s and women’s races in Los Angeles will become the first members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team.
The men’s race (1:06 p.m. ET) includes 2012 Olympic trials winner Meb Keflezighi hoping to become the oldest U.S. Olympic runner ever, Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp in his 26.2-mile debut and three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, who was fourth at the 2012 trials in Houston.
The women’s race (1:22 p.m. ET) includes all three 2012 Olympic marathon team members — Shalane Flanagan, Desi Linden and Kara Goucher. Plus, Amy Hastings Cragg, who was fourth at trials four years ago.
Tom Hammond hosts coverage, joined by Craig Masback, Tim Hutchings, Lewis Johnson and Carrie Tollefson.
Olympic Marathon Trials Previews: Men | Women
Usain Bolt has not expressed much of a desire to go into coaching in retirement, but he plays the role in a commercial published Tuesday.
The six-time Olympic champion sprinter acted in a one-minute spot for the South African telecommunications company Telkom.
At one point in the commercial, Bolt wears headphones with the number “9.58” on one side, referencing his 100m world record.
It’s unknown when Bolt will compete for the first time in 2016, but when healthy he usually does smaller races in Jamaica in the late winter before ramping up in the spring and summer outdoor season.
VIDEO: Bolt beaten in race by boy YouTube sensation