Gary Bettman: No Olympic meetings scheduled for NHL

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday that there are no meetings scheduled between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee or the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) regarding PyeongChang Olympic participation, according to the Canadian Press.

The league hasn’t announced whether it will send players to a sixth straight Olympics in PyeongChang in 11 months.

“Unless something changes we’re not going,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly repeated Wednesday, according to the report. “We’ve said that consistently for three months, so there’s nothing new about that.”

What is new is that there now doesn’t appear to be a resolution before IOC coordination commission meetings in PyeongChang next week.

“I have a coordination commission in March in Korea,” IIHF president Rene Fasel said last month, according to The Associated Press. “We need to know about the accommodation. We need to know about the transportation. The sooner we know, the better we can prepare the conditions for the NHL players and the NHL.”

Fasel said then that the majority of representatives from the 12 qualified nations for the 2018 Olympic men’s hockey tournament “felt that the NHL will likely need to decide during the month of March because of their scheduling needs for next season.”

“However, we do not feel at this time that it would be constructive to set a hard deadline for the NHL and [NHL Players Association] to confirm their participation,” Fasel said.

Daly said in December that the NHL was preparing to devise two separate schedules for the 2017-18 season, one with an Olympic break.

On Wednesday, Bettman said the NHL was focused at the moment on a 2017-18 schedule that didn’t include the Olympics, but a revamped bye-week period, according to the Canadian Press.

The NHL made its 2013-14 schedule and 2014 Olympic participation announcements jointly on July 19, 2013, seven months before the Sochi Winter Games.

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