NHL Olympics proposal set to be rejected by players

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The NHL Players’ Association is expected to turn down an informal NHL offer that would send NHL players to the 2018 Olympics in exchange for extending the collective bargaining agreement for three years, hockey insider Darren Dreger said Wednesday.

The NHLPA response to last month’s NHL proposal is expected Wednesday, Dreger said.

NHL officials have been tepid about taking the usual Olympic break for the Winter Games in South Korea, while at the same time exploring an exhibition game in China next year. Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“Certainly from a players’ perspective, and some very influential player agents around the National Hockey League as well, they’re perplexed, to be honest, as to why the owners aren’t buying into this idea of growing the game from a global perspective,” Dreger said (2:15 mark of above video). “Why wouldn’t you go into South Korea? Why wouldn’t you embrace the opportunities that present, perhaps, by going into China?”

Previously, NHL insider Bob 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.

International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel said last month 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 2014 Sochi Olympics, NHL participation wasn’t decided until July 2013.

MORE: 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups set

Gwen Jorgensen pregnant, to sit out 2017 triathlon season

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: USA's Gwen Jorgensen followed by Switzerland's Nicola Spirig Hug (L) compete in the running portion of the women's triathlon at Fort Copacabana during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 20, 2016.(Photo by Jeff Pachoud-Pool/Getty Images)
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Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen is pregnant and will not compete this year.

“Just kind of take this year a little bit easier,” Jorgensen said in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.

The baby is due Aug. 3, according to Jorgensen’s social media.

Jorgensen, 30, became the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio after going in as the heavy favorite. She has said for months that she planned to take time off to have a baby before returning to defend her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.

Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist, is reportedly expecting a child in May.

In Jorgensen and Spirig’s absences, the top triathletes going into the season are defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, U.S. Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True and Britons Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins.

Jorgensen’s last competition was the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, when she finished 14th in her first running race longer than 10 miles.

The World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi the first weekend of March.

MORE: Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened

Watch NBC’s lookahead to 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea, are a little more than one year away.

A number of U.S. stars are establishing themselves in this winter sports season as medal contenders.

NBC Sports takes a look at some of those names to watch, as the U.S. looks to return to the top of the medal standings.

Russia earned the most medals at home in Sochi in 2014 with 33 medals, with the U.S. coming in second with 28. Those standings could change if Russian results are stripped due to its ongoing doping scandal.

The U.S. has never topped the total medal standings at a Winter Olympics outside of North America. It led the way at Lake Placid 1932 and Vancouver 2010.

VIDEO: PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venue tour