There’s one issue that won’t be resolved with the new CBA: What to do about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Many players want to go — particularly Russian-born stars that would be presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country on home soil in the Olympics. At the same time, the NHL has some concerns.
“This costs us money, this disrupts our season, we don’t make any money off of it,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said of the Olympics back in 2010. He added that the league ultimately made the sacrifice “because we believe it’s good for the game.”
The NHL is hoping to get more from the IIHF if they are going to continue to let its players participate in the Games, according to a Globe and Mail report. The NHL would reportedly like to see are the IIHF loosen its restrictions on things like video and images. They are also looking for sponsor recognition.
IIHF president and International Olympic Committee member Rene Fasel is hoping to work with the league and players to see all sides can come to an agreement.
“Once the CBA is ratified and there has been some cooling-down period, we will sit together with the IOC, the NHL and NHLPA to find solutions how to make sure that Sochi 2014 becomes the fifth consecutive best-on-best Olympic event,” said Fasel.
“As I have always pointed (out) whenever asked questions about NHL players’ participation, our doors are always open and I am confident that we will find ways — like we did in Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver — to stage this event on the biggest sporting stage there is.”
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. The 2014 Olympics are less than 13 months away.