Bettman says door closed on NHL participation in 2018 Winter Olympics – Los Angeles Times

Using his most emphatic language to date, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday that the league will not take a break next season to allow players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

In addition, he said the 2018 NHL All-Star Game has been awarded to Tampa, which reinforces his resolve because the league has not held its All-Star festivities during recent Olympic seasons.

NHL players have represented their homelands in each Winter Olympics starting with 1998. Bettman has often indicated that owners’ appetite for interrupting the season had waned and that the league didn’t gain sufficient benefits from temporarily shutting its doors. However, executives of the International Ice Hockey Federation have said they’d be willing to pay insurance and transportation costs and they believed the matter was still negotiable.

“Six weeks ago we were very clear and definitive that the teams had no interest in going to the Olympics in Pyeongchang,” Bettman said during his annual pre-Stanley Cup Final news conference. “And I know there have been a variety of comments either from Rene Fasel of the International Ice Hockey Federation or from representatives of the Players’ Assn. suggesting that this was still an open issue. It is not, and it has not been. …We’re not anti-Olympics. We’re anti-disruption to the season.”