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NHL official hopes for Olympic progress in IIHF meeting Wednesday

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No decision on if the NHL will send players to the 2018 Olympics is expected, but a Wednesday meeting between the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation in New York is the next step in talks.

“Certainly I think we’ll know more coming out of that meeting than I know standing here right now,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday, according to the Canadian Press.

The meeting is also expected to include USA Hockey and Hockey Canada.

The NHL is unhappy that the International Olympic Committee is not willing to pay travel costs for NHL players to play at the Winter Games, as it has previously.

The NHL is expected to decide by early January if it will participate in a sixth straight Olympics in Pyeongchang. The league is formulating its 2017-18 season schedule.

In the past, the NHL has accommodated a two-week Olympic break into its schedule. For the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, NHL participation wasn’t decided until July 2013.

“I can’t imagine the NHL owners are willing to pay for the privilege of shutting down for 17 days,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday, according to the report. “We’re not allowed to be associated with the Olympics. We’re not allowed to promote that we’re there. We’re not allowed to use the trademarks and logos. We’re not allowed to use the footage. The IOC says this is the way we’re going to do it. We’re not going to pay. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. It doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies.”

In October, IIHF president Rene Fasel said the chances of NHL players going to the 2018 Olympics were 50-50, while Daly felt more negative.

MORE: 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups set

Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Japan Figure Skating Championships

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, will miss his national championships this week after suffering ankle and knee injuries this fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to Japan’s three-man Olympic team despite missing nationals.

Hanyu has reportedly been off the ice for more than one month since a Nov. 9 practice fall.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said last week, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 on Dec. 7, fell on a quadruple Lutz attempted and then favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October.

Chen is the only undefeated male singles skater this season.

Hanyu won four straight national titles before missing last season’s event with the flu.

He was still named to Japan’s team for worlds, where he won his second title in four years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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