The National Hockey League (NHL) has confirmed that it will not send its players to the men’s hockey tournament at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
This follows the interruption of the NHL base season due to the jump in Covid-19 cases.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that Olympic participation is no longer possible as 50 league matches have been postponed until 23 December.
The games are scheduled to begin on February 4, 2022 in China.
Without NHL stars, national teams at the Olympics look like the Winter Games in Pyongyang four years ago.
Due to the time lag between South Korea and North America, many of the 2018 games were played in the middle of the night in front of American audiences, and the NHL felt it was not right to suspend the tournament for three weeks and allow it. players go to Pyeongchang.
“It ‘s a disappointment,” said Steven Stamkos, the Canadian national team captain for Tampa Bay.
“For whatever reason, the Olympic card just hasn’t benefited me. It’s a suck. That’s what I probably won’t be able to do now.”
The NHL and the players ’association have agreed to send athletes to the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics, unless the league season is affected by Covid.