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.

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