NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr offered competing visions Sunday on the likelihood that NHL players will attend the next Winter Olympics. Bettman reiterated NHL owners were reluctant to return for a sixth consecutive Olympics. Fehr, on the other hand, said he was “more optimistic now than I ever have been” that players would go to South Korea in 2018 and that he was confident a deal would be reached with the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee allowing for that possibility. Bettman, however, said there was nothing new to report from early December when the NHL’s Board of Governors met and voiced ‘‘strong negative sentiment’’ to the Pyeongchang Games, citing the challenges of a season shutdown, the lack of tangible benefit to the league, and the IOC’s resistance to covering out-of-pocket payments for players to attend.

He said there had been no further discussions with the IOC or the IIHF ‘‘and absent some compelling reason I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of sentiment on the part of the clubs to go through the disruption of taking three almost weeks off during the season.


‘‘We’ve been there, done that five times and while Vancouver and Salt Lake City were different,’’ Bettman said, referring to their value to the league, ‘‘when you’re halfway around the world, it’s not the easiest thing to have in our season.’’

Bettman said it wasn’t just the risk of injury at the Olympics, but the effects a compressed NHL schedule has on the league and its players. Even the newly added break for NHL clubs during the regular season is causing concerns among players, he said, because it further tightens the schedule.

Asked why he was so optimistic, Fehr said: ‘‘You get a sense of things as they go along. You get a sense of things and how they’re likely to end up. Doesn’t mean you’re always right, but you get a sense of things.’’

Given the time constraints of getting a deal done, Fehr didn’t think it was likely that the current collective bargaining agreement would be extended as part of a deal to get players to the Olympics. The players’ association recently rejected a proposal from the league that would have seen the CBA extended while confirming NHL participation in a wide-ranging schedule of international events, including the Olympics.

Fehr did suggest that the players’ association might be open to agreeing to such a plan outside of the current CBA, one that would include the Olympics, World Cup of Hockey and Ryder Cup-style events.

<!– Continue reading below –>

‘‘The optimum would be something that swept in a wide-range of international events over a period spanning several years and that would include the Olympics,’’ Fehr said. ‘‘But if the optimum is not attainable or not attainable at once then you go for the short-term and I don’t have a judgment yet as to which I think it’s likely to be if either.’’

Otherwise, a deal that would include only the 2018 Olympics is possible.

The NHL recently began working on two separate schedules for the 2017-18 season, one that would include the Olympics and one that wouldn’t.

Predators D Subban on injured reserve

The Nashville Predators placed defenseman P.K. Subban on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and will evaluate him in two to three weeks. Out since Dec. 15, Subban has seven goals and 10 assists . . . The Devils put defenseman John Moore on injured reserve with a concussion, according to NHL.com. Moore was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the first period of Saturday’s loss to the Capitals after falling into the boards following a hit. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released. Moore has five goals and eight assists . . . Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo was suspended three games by the NHL for physical abuse of officials Saturday at Calgary.


Texas A&M’s Garrett will enter NFL Draft

Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett said Saturday night that he will enter the NFL Draft. Garrett, a junior who compiled 32½ sacks and 48½ tackles for loss over the past three seasons, is projected to be a top-10 pick
. . . LSU defensive end Davon Godchaux, who had 62 tackles, 6½ sacks, and 8½ tackles for loss this year, will forgo his final season to turn pro . . . ESPN reported Michigan tight end Jake Butt tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in Friday night’s Orange Bowl. He had 46 catches for 546 yards and four TDs this season, and won the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end . . . Michigan State women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant, 47, fainted during a home win over Illinois. She was evaluated by medical staff before walking to the locker room and being taken to a hospital, where she was expected to be kept overnight as a precaution . . . In women’s basketball, Nina Davis and Alexis Jones each scored 16 points and No. 3 Baylor overcame a sluggish start to beat Kansas, 90-43, in Waco, Texas . . . Brionna Jones had 27 points and 13 rebounds and No. 4 Maryland held off Minnesota in its Big Ten opener at Minneapolis . . . Victoria Vivians had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Chinwe Okorie added 17 points to help No. 5 Mississippi State rout LSU at Starkville, Miss., in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams . . . A’ja Wilson scored 23 points and Alaina Coates had her 50th career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 6 South Carolina beat Alabama, 93-45, in Columbia, S.C. . . . Sydney Wiese hit five 3-points and had 26 points and six assists and Oregon State held on to beat No. 9 Washington in Corvallis, Ore. . . . Monique Billings tied a career high with 27 points and added 18 rebounds to lead No. 10 UCLA past visiting Colorado, 87-74 . . . In men’s basketball, Kelan Martin had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Andrew Chrabascz and Avery Woodson each had 11 points to help No. 13 Butler beat Providence, 78-61, at Indianapolis


WNBA players were near Istanbul attack

A handful of WNBA players, including Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray, and Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks, were next door to a deadly shooting at an Istanbul nightclub Sunday. Sparks coach Brian Agler confirmed Carson texted him to say they were OK. About two dozen players are playing in Turkey during the WNBA offseason . . . The New Orleans Pelicans waived veteran wing player Reggie Williams, who averaged 5 points and 1.2 rebounds in five games . . . The Thunder assigned second-year guard Cameron Payne, who hasn’t played this season since fracturing a bone in his right foot in a scrimmage in October, to the NBADL.


Americans open with win at Hopman Cup

CoCo Vandeweghe gave the United States an early lead and Jack Sock clinched the opening match at the Hopman Cup mixed teams tennis tournament in Perth, Australia. Vandeweghe beat Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-2, before Sock defeated Adam Pavlasek, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. The US team also won mixed doubles, 2-4, 4-2, 4-1 . . . American Shelby Rogers beat 2012 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1, in first-round play at the Brisbane International in Australia. American Christina McHale beat Sara Errani, 6-3, 6-3 . . . Midnight Storm beat Accelerate by 1¼ lengths in the $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes after Horse of the Year contender Arrogate was scratched after rain pounded the Santa Anita track the last two days in Arcadia, Calif. . . . Caledonian edged Always a Suspect by a neck in the $100,000 Lost In The Fog Stakes at Aqueduct in New York . . . Olivier Giroud scored an exquisite goal from an overhead back-heeled strike as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace, 2-0, in London to rise to third in the English Premier League . . . Harry Kane and Dele Alli both scored twice as Tottenham climbed to fourth in the English Premier League with a 4-1 win over host Watford . . . Norwegian Daniel Andre Tande soared 138 meters with his first jump and 142 with his second to beat Kamil Stoch of Poland to win the second leg of ski jumping’s Four Hills Tour in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.