It’s official: The NHL is headed to the 2022 Winter Olympics.
On Friday, the league announced its players will be allowed to participate in the Games scheduled to be held in Beijing from Feb. 4-20, 2022; the hockey tournament begins on Feb. 9.
The NHL Players’ Association sent out a memo to its members announcing the agreement had been made. Players will have the ability to opt out of participation and there will not be any insurance provided for COVID-related illnesses.
The IOC/IIHF refused to pay for the cost of insurance and insist that Players take on all the COVID risk and agree to release the IOC et al. from potential liability related to anyone contracting COVID at the Games. The IIHF has agreed to create a $5 million fund to help cover lost NHL salaries due to COVID, provided that the affected Players contratced COVID at the Games while strictly following all COVID protocols. Note that it is the NHL’s position that Players will not be paid if they miss NHL Games after Beijing for COVID-related reasons.
It should be noted that the agreement also includes an out for the NHL “in the event evolving Covid conditions are deemed by the NHL/NHLPA to render participation by NHL Players to be impractical or unsafe.”
Now that the news is official, Sporting News makes a quick projection for who will be there sporting the maple leaf for Canada and the American flag for the United States. Teams are allowed to bring three goaltenders, eight defensemen and 14 forwards.
Canada’s projected 2022 Olympic roster
General manager: Doug Armstrong
Head coach: Jon Cooper
USA’s projected 2022 Olympic roster
General manager: Stan Bowman
Head coach: Mike Sullivan
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