National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman says he likes the idea of hosting an Olympic ice hockey tournament in the summer, so the league wouldn’t have to take a break in the regular season.
Talking on the Prime Time Sports radio show on Tuesday, NHL commissioner Bettman again confirmed the league’s intention to miss next year’s Olympic Games, as cited by sportsnet.ca.
“People talk about our interest in international. Of course we’re interested in growing international, but three weeks every four years isn’t what’s going to make it. We’re going to play games in Sweden, we’re playing games in China,” Bettman said.
“If the IOC [International Olympic Committee] would move the Olympic hockey tournament to the summer, that would be great. We’d be thrilled to have our players participate because then it doesn’t affect our season,” he added.
On Monday, the NHL officially announced that it will not participate at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The decision centers on fears over player injuries and financial concerns, and means that the league is not looking to take an Olympic break during the 2017-2018 season.
Despite the announced boycott, Russian NHL star Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals confirmed on Tuesday his previously-announced intention to play at the 2018 Games.
“It’s the biggest opportunity in life to play at the Olympic Games. If somebody’s gonna tell me not to go, I don’t care – I’ll just go,” Ovechkin told reporters.
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