The International Olympic Committee and National Hockey League have agreed that NHL players will participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The agreement was reached after a meeting between the two parties on Monday, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The winter olympics 2022 is an agreement that has been reached between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee.
The NHL and NHLPA have reached an agreement with the IIHF and IOC to enable NHL players to compete in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2022.
The NHL and NHLPA have the option to withdraw from the Olympics if COVID-19 circumstances deteriorate, or if the NHL calendar in 2021-22 is interrupted by cancellations, and the league believes it has to utilize the Olympic break to make up games. According to ESPN, the opt-out date is expected to be in early January.
The NHL did not send any players to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, breaking a record of five straight tournaments in which the league has sent players. When NHL players signed a new collective bargaining agreement with the league in 2020, they scored a major victory: the CBA includes wording allowing players to compete in the 2022 and 2026 Olympic Games, subject to an agreement with the IIHF and IOC.
The NHL, NHLPA, IIHF, and IOC had been bargaining on and off throughout the summer, avoiding some artificial deadlines, but they eventually reached a deal on Friday.
NHL players have united in their desire to compete in the Olympics again.
“Your goal as a Canadian child is to play in the NHL, and then to play for Team Canada in the Olympics. That’s how I believe it’s always been, and I’m no exception “Last week, Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid told reporters. “We haven’t been able to represent our nation in a best-on-best competition in a long time since we didn’t go to the Olympics. So, my last competition would have been a world juniors [in 2015], so it’s been a long time, and I’m looking forward to, I suppose, being able to compete for a place and maybe make the squad and represent my nation at the Olympics.”
As part of the deal, the IIHF and IOC will pay all travel and insurance expenses for NHL players, as well as their visitors if they are permitted to attend. COVID insurance was a major sticking point: although the NHL and NHLPA identified a supplier, the IIHF and IOC refused to pay extra COVID insurance, thus it will be up to each individual player to decide whether or not to purchase it.
From Thursday, February 3 through Tuesday, February 22, the NHL will take a vacation from games. Whether NHL players compete in the Olympics or not, All-Star weekend in Las Vegas will take place on February 4th.
Olympians who go to Beijing for All-Star weekend will fly straight from Las Vegas.
All athletes competing in the Olympics will be obliged to get the vaccination; however, there may be certain exceptions on a case-by-case basis. According to several league sources, “the vast majority” of NHL players have already been vaccinated.
Expanded media and advertising rights were one of the NHL’s demands from an Olympic deal.
The NHL detailed some of the items it sought in a February 2020 meeting with the IIHF, including NHL logos and advertising in Olympic games, as well as the option to utilize Olympic highlights on NHL Network or NHL.com, all of which the league believed would help promote the game.
However, according to insiders, the NHL was rejected the majority of its demands. Since that February 2020 meeting, the NHL has severed ways with television partner NBC, which also broadcasts the Olympics. The IIHF and IOC also recognized they had power since NHL players have been outspoken about their desire to return to the Olympics, according to people familiar with the discussions.
By October 15, Olympic teams must submit their “long lists” of players. By January, the preliminary playing rosters will be revealed. National teams are not permitted to have in-person orientation camps, although they are permitted to hold virtual meetings before to games.
Players are being advised to prepare for rigorous procedures during the Olympics, according to sources. The Chinese government has imposed a bubble environment, which includes daily testing, severe limitations on contacts and movements, and the option of wearing GPS tracking devices to aid contact tracing and verify protocol compliance.
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