Though the next Winter Games aren’t until 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, there’s already been plenty of speculation about the NHL ending its streak of Olympic participation that started in 1998, especially with the World Cup being revived in 2016.
The World Cup isn’t necessarily a replacement for the Olympics though, as NHLPA director Donald Fehr argued.
“If you look at the FIFA World Cup – and forget FIFA for the moment since they’re not on the high point of everybody’s list these days – what you see is that is the preeminent event,” Fehr told Sportsnet. “It is not the Olympics. I don’t know what’s going to happen in hockey. I think they can both exist. The players really want to play in both.”
It’s worth noting the deal to bring the NHL to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia wasn’t agreed to until seven months before the start of the Games, so it’s entirely possible that it will be a while before we know what will happen with the 2018 Olympics. The World Cup might even be finished before there’s anything definitive regarding the Olympics.