Dominik Hasek

Hasek says NHL should ‘embrace’ Olympics


As the NHL, NHLPA and IIHF look to work out a deal, which would see NHL players participate in the 2018 Olympics, one former NHLer believes the league should send its players.

Dominik Hasek, who was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame on the weekend, says the NHL should “embrace” the idea of going to PyeongChang, South Korea.

“To win it all for your country is to win for everyone and everything that is at the heart of who you are,” said Hasek. “To bring back the gold medal from Nagano was indescribable. I encourage the NHL to embrace it and give players like Jaromir Jagr one more shot at a party in the Old Town Square.”

There is currently no deal in place between the IIHF, NHL and NHLPA for players to participate at the 2018 Olympics.

Hasek participated in four Olympic games winning gold at Nagano in 1998.

IIHF says getting NHL players to 2018 Olympics ‘will not be easy’

Rene Fasel

According to International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel, getting NHLers to participate at the 2018 Olympics “will not be easy”.

Fasel told The Associated Press that the process of consulting players and officials over a deal for the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea has begun.

“Our goal is to bring the NHL to Korea,” said Fasel adding its “long process” and “will not be easy.”

There is currently no deal in place between the IIHF, NHL and NHLPA for players to participate at the 2018 Olympics.

The story notes a deal for the 2014 games was not reached until seven months prior to the Olympics starting in Sochi, Russia.

The NHL has been sending its players to the Olympics since 1998.

Report: Changes coming for World Cup of Hockey

USA forward Zach Parise (9) celebrates his goal against the Czech Republic with teammates Phil Kessel (81) and USA defenseman Ryan Suter during the second period of men's quarterfinal hockey game in Shayba Arena at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, big changes are expected for the World Cup of Hockey.

Representatives from the NHL, NHLPA and International Ice Hockey Federation met in Toronto on Monday.

Changes to the tournament include two all star teams in addition to the top six hockey nations (Canada, U.S., Sweden, Finland, Russia and Czech Republic).

One all star squad will be made up of the best players from Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany and Slovenia, among others.

The make-up of the second all star team is yet to be determined.

The 2016 tournament is expected to take place in Toronto.

Update: Panthers’ Ekblad suffers concussion

Aaron Ekblad

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion Tuesday night during a 6-2 win over the Czech Republic in a scrimmage.

Ekblad, the Florida Panthers’ first overall pick at June’s NHL draft, left in the third period after an open-ice collision with defenseman Lukas Klok.

The 18-year-old was not on the ice Wednesday morning and following practice Hockey Canada updated his status:

The good news is Florida fully expects Ekblad to be ready for its mini camp next month.

“As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game last night,” said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon in a statement. “We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September.”

Given that Ekblad is likely to make the Panthers out of camp, it’s doubtful he’ll even be made available for Team Canada by Florida for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which takes place in Montreal and Toronto.

Related: Get to know a draft pick – Aaron Ekblad

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.