NHL expects ruling on 2018 within six months

Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:28am EST
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By Frank Pingue

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - A decision on whether to send National Hockey League players to the 2018 Olympics will be made in about six months, the NHL said on Tuesday.

It took nearly four years of intense negotiations with the International Olympic Committee before the NHL finally agreed to shut down its league for two weeks so its players could compete in the Sochi Games.

But NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told reporters gathered in Russia for the 12-team men's ice hockey tournament that he expects a much quicker resolution regarding the Pyeongchang Winter Games in South Korea.

"It should not take all that long, but I would have said the same thing coming out of 2010," Daly said on the eve of the men's competition.

"We will have a broader discussion with the players' association on international competition and what we are doing internationally.

"That discussion is under way so I would anticipate a quick resolution in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months."

Key sticking points during the last round of negotiations focused on insurance, travel, access to players and hospitality for players' and owners' families.

While those same issues are likely to be on the table in the coming months, Daly also seemed to suggest that shutting down the NHL so players can compete in the Olympics may not make sense considering the growth in the league.   Continued...

The U.S. men's hockey team goaltender Ryan Miller sits on the bench during a team USA practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder