Daly expects 2018 Olympic decision in six months

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Sounds like the NHL and NHLPA will soon have an answer for participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“I do not anticipate it will take that long and we will have a broader discussion with the (NHL) players’ association on international competition and what we are doing internationally,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday, per the Olympic News Service. “That discussion is underway so I would anticipate a quick resolution in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months.”

Much has been made in recent weeks about future NHL participation, with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider speaking critically about sending players to the Winter Games.

“I hate them,” Snider said, per the Globe and Mail. “It’s ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous. I don’t care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldn’t want to break up the league. I think it’s ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season.

“It screws up everything. .. How can anybody be happy breaking up their season. No other league does it, why should we? There’s no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything, I can only see negatives.”

Snider’s take was in stark contrast to Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman who, upon arriving in Sochi, said it was worthwhile to keep bringing NHLers to the Olympics.

“You’re asking my opinion, my opinion is: absolutely,” he said. “I think this is fantastic for our league. We go back to the last year, and even beyond that, look how much attention this draws, how much conversation this draws, not only in Canada, but around the world. It promotes our league, it promotes our players.

“I believe it’s good for our game, I believe it’s good for the NHL.”

The NHL previously stated it would take a wait-and-see approach with regards to participating in Pyeongchang in 2018 — there has been talk the World Cup could be reborn as an alternative to the Olympics — but on Tuesday, Daly did make mention of the importance of potentially expanding hockey into unfamiliar territory.

”You will never ignore the Asian market,” he said. “It is a very, very important [market], but I do not view it as a short-term realistic objective to make a huge impact in the Asian market.”