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Fantastic News For NHLers and International Hockey


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James Connelly
July 19, 2023  (5:37 PM)
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There has been a massive update regarding the Olympics and NHLer's eligibility to play in them.

NHLers Could Return To International Hockey

It has been a decade since we last witnessed NHL players participating in the Olympic Games, providing an exhilarating best-on-best hockey tournament. However, a recent report suggests that this could change in the near future.
In a recent interview with ESPN, the head of the NHL Players Association, Marty Walsh, expressed his determination to have NHL players return to the Olympic Games as early as 2026, to be hosted in Italy. Walsh emphasized the significance of this priority for him and his fellow members, as many players from across the globe eagerly anticipate representing their home countries and participating in this prestigious tournament.
"My focus is to try and make that happen. I'm working with commissioner Gary Bettman, collectively together with the IIHF, and hopefully we'll be able to come up with an agreement and move forward. A lot of players from around the globe want to play for their home country. They want that best-on-best tournament. They want to be part of it."

The History

The NHL had allowed its players to compete in five consecutive Winter Olympics before deciding not to send them in 2018, citing concerns about disrupting the league's regular season.
After negotiations between the players and the NHL, it was initially announced that NHLers would return to the Olympics in 2022. However, the league later withdrew this decision due to the substantial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the preceding two years, which left several players dissatisfied with the outcome.
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One significant obstacle to organizing a genuine best-on-best hockey tournament revolves around Russia's involvement. The NHL had intended to host a World Cup in 2024 but abandoned the plan following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. While there were hopes to reschedule the event for 2025, the ongoing conflict and potential damage on the global stage make this outcome uncertain. Consequently, there is a possibility that Russia may also be excluded from the 2026 Winter Olympics.
However, if we do get to see NHLers back in the Olympics, we could witness more legendary moments like these.
As read on Markerzone - We Now Know When NHLers May Return to the Olympic Games
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Fantastic News For NHLers and International Hockey

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