NHL to reveal 2017-18 schedule on Thursday

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Alex Ovechkin thought the NHL was bluffing about not going to the 2018 Olympics.

“Next year’s schedule is not out there yet,” the Russian superstar said in April after the league announced its intention to finalize the schedule without any break for the Games in South Korea.

After all, four years ago, the NHL delayed the release of the 2013-14 schedule before striking a deal to send NHLers to Sochi.

Alas, the 2017-18 schedule will be out there Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. The reveal will be televised by NHL Network, the league announced today.

It will be hard to strike an Olympic deal after that. All the arenas will be booked, and teams will start planning their trips and reserving their hotels, if they haven’t started already.

In other words, it may really be time for everyone to accept that, for the first time since 1994, the Winter Olympics won’t have NHLers in it.

Related: ‘No possibility’ 2018 All-Star Game will be canceled for Olympics