U.S., Canada men, women in same groups for 2022 Olympics

We don’t know if the NHL and NHLPA will agree to participate in the 2022 Olympics, but we do know the groups that will make up the tournament.

The U.S. and Canada will share a group in both the men’s and women’s tournaments after the IIHF released the latest world rankings and tournament seedings. The seedings and groups are based off the world rankings, which remain the same from 2019 due to the cancelation of the 2020 World Championship.

Group A: Canada (1), USA (6), Germany (7), China (12)
Group B: Russia (2), Czech Republic (5), Switzerland (8), Qualifier 3 (11)
Group C: Finland (3), Sweden (4), Qualifier 1 (9), Qualifier 2 (10)

The final three qualifier spots (winner from each group) are still scheduled to be decided in late August.

Group D: Slovakia (host), Belarus, Austria, Poland
Group E: Latvia (host), France, Italy, Hungary
Group F: Norway (host), Denmark, Korea, Slovenia

This is the first time since the 2010 Olympics that the U.S. and Canada will share a group in the men’s tournament.

As far as NHL participating in 2022, there’s been little progress on that end.

“At this point in time, we continue to believe that the negatives outweigh the positives,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in February.

Said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr: “I can’t figure out why anybody would not want to go and take advantage of this opportunity because it doesn’t come around every day.”

The 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics were the first without NHL participating since 1994.

On the women’s side, with only two international tournaments held this year, the rankings saw little change. The U.S. and Canada remain the top two teams in the world and will meet in Group A as the Americans try to repeat as gold medal winners.

Group A: USA (1), Canada (2), Finland (3), Russia (4), Switzerland (5)
Group B: Japan (6), Qualifier 1 (7), Qualifier 2 (8), Qualifier 3 (9), China (10)

The three qualifier places will be determined in February 2021 and the format will be decided when all participating teams have entered. Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden all have the right to host a qualification group.

MORE:
IOC postpones 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics
Gretzky: NHL players in Olympics ‘much better for everyone’

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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