It took nearly four years of intense negotiations with the
International Olympic Committee before the NHL finally agreed to
shut down its league for two weeks so its players could compete in
the Sochi Games.
But NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told reporters gathered in
Russia for the 12-team men's ice hockey tournament that he expects a
much quicker resolution regarding the Pyeongchang Winter Games in
"It should not take all that long, but I would have said the same
thing coming out of 2010," Daly said on the eve of the men's
"We will have a broader discussion with the players' association on
international competition and what we are doing internationally.
"That discussion is under way so I would anticipate a quick
resolution in respect to the Olympics, maybe six months."
Key sticking points during the last round of negotiations focused on
insurance, travel, access to players and hospitality for players'
and owners' families.
While those same issues are likely to be on the table in the coming
months, Daly also seemed to suggest that shutting down the NHL so
players can compete in the Olympics may not make sense considering
the growth in the league.
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The NHL has a much higher profile and is more successful as a
business model now than when its players first competed in the
Olympics at the 1998 Nagano Games, two factors Daly said will be
considered in making the decision regarding 2018.
"We are much more visible on the worldwide stage so we are at a
different stage in our evolution and development than we were in
1998," said Daly.
"That is a factor that you throw into the mix when you consider
whether the Olympics makes sense for you going forward."
Growing the NHL brand in Asia is a key part of the league's business
plan, but that does not make participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang
Games, or any other future Olympics, a guarantee.
"There are a lot of negatives that come along with the Olympics,"
"The fact is we are guests here and it is not our tournament and it
is someone else's tournament. In terms of making it as good as it
can be, we do not have control over that. There are positive and
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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