2014 Sochi

Report: IOC agrees to cover NHL player insurance costs

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The NHL and International Olympic Committee haven’t finalized an agreement to bring NHL players to the 2014 Olympic Games, but a huge hurdle to that is about to be cleared.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported on last night’s Hotstove that the IOC has agreed to cover the cost of insurance for NHL players to play next year in Sochi. There are other issues left to be taken care of, but CBC’s Glenn Healy says the IIHF has the league’s proposal and now it’s up to both sides to figure out the rest of the issues.

Healy and P.J. Stock say issues like family tickets and accommodations are still being haggled over and the costs are five times what they normally would be thanks to the out-of-the-way location. That said, the cost of making sure the players and NHL teams were protected from injury abroad was the biggest sticking point. With that out of the way, it appears we’ll see pros in the Olympics yet again.

Niedermayer hopes NHLers continue Olympic participation

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On Saturday, former New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer was inducted into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame.

His induction was a special one. When people say Niedermayer accomplished all there is to accomplish in hockey, they truly mean it — he’s the only Canadian player in history to win the ‘big six’:

Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, World Juniors, World Championships, Olympics and the now-defunct World Cup.

Those accolades are a big reason why Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com was on hand to interview Niedermayer at his induction ceremony.

On the subject of NHLers competing in future Olympics — most notably, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi — Niedermayer was hopeful participation would continue.

“I think it’s obvious that the fans love it. It’s great hockey,” Niedermayer explained. “I know the players love it. Sometimes it is difficult when you have a long way to travel. It’s not easy. But the players always love an opportunity to represent their country.

“It means a lot to them. So let’s hope it continues.”

Niedermayer won two Olympic golds with Canada in 2002 and 2010, captaining the side that beat the U.S. in Vancouver. He pointed out that Canada defeated the Americans for both of their gold medals, suggesting the rivalry is a big reason why Olympic hockey is so captivating.

“It’s a difficult tournament to win,” he said. “You look at the teams that are out there now, how hard the Americans played [in 2010]. Actually, we ended up playing the U.S. in both the Olympic finals we won. They were good games. And there are many other tough teams. It’s a tough tournament.

“That’s why people love watching it. That’s why when you win it, it means something.”