USOC discuss Plan B if NHL takes pass on 2018 Games

Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:28pm EST
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee said on Tuesday it has discussed a Plan B with USA Hockey should the National Hockey League decide not to send players to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

The NHL has participated in five consecutive Winter Games but its participation in South Korea is in doubt after the International Olympic Committee said it would no longer cover players' costs, which have been estimated at around $10 million.

"We have had discussions with USA Hockey about a Plan B if that does not happen," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said on a conference call.

"Obviously it creates more challenges for them and for us from an organizational standpoint, we're still very hopeful the NHL players will be there.

"We know they (players) want to be there and we understand the challenges it creates for the league.

"We are certainly exploring all avenues that would allow that to happen."

Increasingly unhappy about shutting down operations in the middle of the season and turning their most valuable assets over to national team duty, NHL owners believe they are seeing little return on their Olympic investment.

International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) president Rene Fasel has been scrambling to strike a deal indicating the ice hockey's governing body would find the money to cover the costs.   Continued...

The advertising hoarding promoting the 2018 Winter Olympics stands in the mountain cluster of PyeongChang February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski