NHL players unhappy with new Olympic proposal

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A reported NHL proposal that would send NHL players to the 2018 Olympics, if the NHLPA signs off, is being met by players with cynicism and a knee-jerk reaction of blackmail, hockey insider Bob McKenzie said.

The NHL will reportedly participate at a sixth straight Winter Games in Pyeongchang if the NHL Players Association extends the collective bargaining agreement for what’s believed to be three years.

The news came two days after International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel said the NHL’s biggest roadblock to Olympic participation — travel costs — would be covered and was no longer an issue.

The NHL, NHLPA and IIHF met in New York on Wednesday.

None of the players’ reaction to the latest proposal is positive, McKenzie said.

“The players have said, hey, we want to go to the Olympics, and suddenly the IIHF comes up with enough money to maybe facilitate that for the National Hockey League,” McKenzie said. “And suddenly the narrative has been shifted by the National Hockey League to suggest that if the players don’t agree to this, then the players say no to the Olympics. As opposed to the National Hockey League saying no to the Olympics, in the belief being deep down the NHL doesn’t really want to be in Korea in 2018.”

McKenzie said the players view Olympic participation as a benefit, but not a tangible benefit to close off CBA negotiating rights for three years.

A resolution on whether the NHL will take a break in its 2017-18 season to allow players to go to the Pyeongchang Olympics is expected by January.

“It’s an emotional issue, and I’m just not sure at this moment in time that, under pressure, the NHLPA wants to negotiate a CBA extension, in the backdrop of the Olympics, by January,” McKenzie said.

Fasel reportedly said after Wednesday’s meeting that his confidence that the NHL will send players to the Olympics remains at 50 percent, the same as it has been for months.

For the Sochi Olympics, NHL participation wasn’t decided until July 2013.

MORE: 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups set

Joseph Schooling eyes Michael Phelps’ world record at world champs

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Shortly after Joseph Schooling upset Michael Phelps in the Rio Olympic 100m butterfly, the Singapore swimmer made his next goal quite clear.

Take Phelps’ 100m butterfly world record.

Schooling repeated that claim after returning to the University of Texas for his junior season in November and again following March’s NCAA Championships, where he was beaten by Caeleb Dressel in the 100-yard butterfly.

The goal is apparently an imminent one.

Schooling said he believes he can break Phelps’ record at the world championships in Budapest in July, according to Channel News Asia. It would require lowering his personal best by more than a half-second.

“I’m looking forward to that race, and deep down I think if I do what I know I can do, if I execute everything well perfectly, I’d have a really good shot,” Schooling said Thursday, according to the report.

Schooling, 21, hasn’t raced a 100m butterfly since the Olympics, where he clocked 50.39 seconds. That broke Phelps’ Olympic record of 50.58 set at the 2008 Olympics. It’s the fifth-fastest time ever.

All of the top four times, including Phelps’ world record of 49.82, were set in 2009 at the peak of the high-tech swimsuit era.

“My dad told me 50.39 is a world record in a textile suit, but I want the world record on paper,” Schooling reportedly said less than a week after his Olympic title in August. “My next goal is breaking 49.8.”

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MORE: Phelps joins gold medalists in swim race, but no comeback

Aly Raisman calls out airport worker for ‘muscles’ comment

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Three-time Olympic champion Aly Raisman called out a male airport security worker who she says questioned whether she had enough muscles to be a gymnast.

Raisman posted on Twitter on Wednesday that after a female Transportation Security Administration worker said she recognized Raisman by her biceps, a male employee said, “I don’t see any muscles.” Raisman called the encounter “rude & uncomfortable.”

Raisman, who turned 23 Thursday, says she works “very hard to be healthy & fit.” She says that if a man can’t compliment a girl’s muscles, he’s sexist.

Raisman didn’t say where or when the airport exchange took place.

Raisman previously authored a powerful social media post about body image, shouting out “to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being ‘too strong’” in November.

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