Travel to and from Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics continues to be an issue for ongoing negotiations as to whether the National Hockey League players will participate.
According to a piece in the Globe and Mail by Allan Maki on Wednesday, the NHL would have to shut down operations for approximately 18 days and that weather and limited number of serviceable airports could mean that extra days to travel in and out of Sochi could be necessary.
In an e-mail to the Globe and Mail, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote: “Travel for players is a meaningful aspect of our ongoing discussions.”
Daly recently traveled to Sochi to visit the Olympic venues, although talks haven’t gone beyond the “conceptual stage.”
The issue of NHL players participating in the upcoming Olympics – that would it the fifth straight Winter Games – has been ongoing since the league and the NHLPA signed the new collective bargaining agreement.
The league, its players association, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee have all had a hand in negotiations. It was reported last month by TSN’s Bob McKenzie that a deal to send NHL players to Sochi was a “foregone conclusion.”