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NHL: Gamers will not go to Beijing Olympics, citing COVID-19

NHL: Gamers will not go to Beijing Olympics, citing COVID-19

The transfer that appeared inevitable in current days means the league will spend the beforehand scheduled Olympic break making up video games which have and can be postponed.

NHL gamers is not going to be allowed to take part within the Beijing Olympics after the league pulled the plug amid a rash of postponements brought on by optimistic COVID-19 take a look at outcomes.

Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement Tuesday, making official what appeared inevitable in current days when the listing of postponed video games shortly grew to 50. The league will use the beforehand scheduled Feb. 6-22 Olympic break to make up these video games and others that should be rescheduled.

Bettman mentioned, “Given the profound disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule brought on by current COVID-related occasions … Olympic participation is now not possible.” In a separate assertion, Gamers’ Affiliation govt director Don Fehr mentioned that whereas there was a transparent path to Beijing earlier than COVID-19 intervened, the Olympic break is now wanted to make up video games.

Worldwide officers and nationwide federations should now pivot to Plan B for a second consecutive Olympic males’s hockey match with out NHL gamers. USA Hockey mentioned it can quickly announce new administration and training staffs, and Hockey Canada is predicted to attract from the executives, coaches and gamers who took half in a global match in Moscow this month.

“Though we’re dissatisfied to obtain this determination by the NHL and NHLPA, we nonetheless absolutely perceive the circumstances that compelled this motion to be taken,” Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation president Luc Tardif mentioned in a press release. “It was a shock to see how COVID-19 affected the NHL schedule nearly in a single day, and we perceive the NHL’s determination is in the very best curiosity of the well being and security of its gamers.”

The NHL’s focus is on finishing an 82-game common season for the primary time since 2018-19. The schedule already was prolonged by way of April, with the playoffs going to the top of June, with greater than two weeks off in between for the Olympics.

When Olympic participation was confirmed in September, groups have been despatched two variations of the NFL schedule. The sheer quantity of postponements forces the league to make use of that break for make-up dates, relatively than folding later video games into February and transfer up the beginning of the playoffs.

Regardless of the NHL not being a part of the Olympics for simply the second time since 1998, Bettman, Fehr and Tardif expressed optimism a few return for 2026. The league and NHLPA have a deal for Olympic participation as a part of their collective bargaining settlement extension by way of that yr.

Extra AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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