TORONTO — The NHL and International Ice Hockey Federation will meet Wednesday in New York to discuss the NHL’s participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he doesn’t expect big news to emerge from the meeting — one that will also include representatives from Hockey Canada and USA Hockey — but time is running out to make a decision on NHL players competing in the next Winter Olympics.
“[The IIHF] had a meeting, as I understand it, with the International Olympic Committee last week,” Daly said. “I expect we’ll get updated on that and see what the next steps are.”
As for a timeline, Daly didn’t want to put a hard deadline on it, but the league is starting to prepare its 2017-18 schedule. An Olympic break would have to be factored in.
“I think everyone would agree that we’re late in the game already,” Daly said. “We’re going through the process of doing our schedule for 2017-18, and obviously it’s very relevant to what that schedule looks like … it’s something we need to get resolved quickly.”
During a Monday morning panel at the PrimeTime Sports and Entertainment conference, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the IOC is refusing to pay for insurance and travel costs that have been picked up in the previous five Olympics.
When asked if the reported cost not being paid was $10 million, Bettman said that estimate was low.
“It’s more than that,” Bettman said.
He said there’s very little appetite from NHL owners to pick up that tab.
“I can’t imagine NHL owners are going to pay for the privilege of shutting down [the NHL season],” Bettman said.