NHL Not A Done Deal For Beijing Olympics

Sean Brayton - 26 Nov 2021

Variety will be the name of the game at the 2022 Winter Olympics. And Canadians will be out there contending in every conceivable way – including figure skating, curling, snowboarding, freestyle skating, and speed skating.

But while all the above are exciting each in their own right, the average Canadian fan wants to see one sport and one sport only represented at the Olympic Games: hockey.

Right now, while the plan is for the NHL to feature on the program, we won't be 100 per cent sure that this will actually happen until much closer to the time.

Read More... Nate Schmidt Shines In Debut For Winnipeg

Potential Trouble Afoot

The creator of uncertainty is an agreement inked between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association back in early September.

According to the provisions of the agreement, the league and the players will get to choose whether to forge ahead as planned, or to bail out instead should travelling to Beijing become a health-risk.

This means the league could at any point between now and Beijing decide to back-pedal on its decision to compete. And since the league has never really seemed too thrilled about the idea of Beijing, chances are this might still happen.

Another potential fly in the ointment is the rising number of infections currently experienced back home as well as in the US. The Ottawa Senators, for one, have just had to postpone an entire week's worth of games because of a sudden outbreak. And in the US, which is home to two thirds of the NHL's teams, cases are rising rapidly once again.

And Then There's China

China, too, is creating a fair amount of controversy around the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. US President Joe Biden announced only last week that America is currently considering a diplomatic boycott of China. This means the US will send only athletes to the Olympic Games – but no official dignitaries.

The deadline for a final decision is January 10, 2022.

But the NHL aside, if any one team should have opted out, it would have to be the Chinese men's hockey team. China – in its capacity as host country – has the right to a berth in every event.

But this doesn't mean its non-performing men's hockey team will be able to make good on the privilege. In fact, many in the world of hockey have warned of the possibility of enormous embarrassment when the team meets the likes of Canada, the US, and even Germany during the group stage.

Topbettingsites.com uses cookies to give the best experience possible. Please read our Cookie Policy for more details