The Stanley Cup isn’t the only thing Connor McDavid wants. He also wants a shot at Olympic gold, and he’s frustrated that NHL players likely won’t get a chance to play in the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In April, the NHL announced that it will not stop its season to allow players to compete at the Feb. 9-25 Olympics for the first time in 20 years.
“I’m really upset about it,” McDavid said, according to SportsNet. “You want to be able to represent your country on the highest stage, and the Olympics is obviously the highest stage possible. To know that you might not be able to represent your country at the Olympics for another four years for sure. … Even if you’re able to in four years, it’s disappointing.”
McDavid has won gold for Canada at the world juniors in 2015 and the world championship in 2016, but he hasn’t represented Canada in the senior Olympic tournament.
Canada is going for its third straight gold medal at the Olympics, but the country didn’t win gold in the last 11 Games held without NHL players before winning in 2002, 2010 and 2014.
McDavid, 20, won the NHL MVP last season and led the Oilers to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The NHL had been looking for concessions from the International Olympic Committee and/or the NHL Players’ Association to make participation worthwhile for some owners who are frustrated by shutting down their league every four years during the Olympics.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.