Following Friday’s meeting between the National Hockey League, International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation about NHL participation at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly offered the following statement:
“We had a good working session and were able to discuss all of the issues involved in the possibility of having NHL Players participate in the 2014 Sochi Games.
“The parties are committed to continuing to work through the process, but there remains work to be done on all sides.”
One of the major talking points of Friday’s meeting was the cost of travel and insurance for NHL players.
For more on that, here’s CBC’s Elliotte Friedman in his latest 30 Thoughts column:
It is the NHL and NHLPA’s plan to send all players to Sochi via a series of charter planes. There will be a few “hubs” — think Toronto, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. — with next season’s schedule tailored to make certain any selected player can easily get to those cities.
From there, it won’t matter what country you play for, you’ll all hop on the flights together to get overseas. When the Winter Games were held in Turin, for example, Team Canada had its own charter.
Initially, word was the cost for this idea would be around $2 million. Now, according to one source, “Numbers will be more than first projected.”
Insurance is an even bigger issue. A friend of mine, who works in the industry and has done some business in sports, said Saturday that the explosion of long-term NHL contracts in the past few years will make this, by far, the most expensive tournament to protect.
“Uncharted territory,” he called it.
Friedman’s contact said estimates for insurance range from 0.3 to 0.5 percent of the value of a player’s contract.
For Team Canada alone, Friedman suggests it could cost in the neighborhood of $2.1 million to insure all the big NHL contracts.
That’s a lot of scratch, so you can see why there “remains work to be done” in figuring out who foots the bill.