Ovechkin Still Plans To Play For Russia In 2018 Olympics

Alex Ovechkin isn't budging.

The NHL's displeasure is understandable, especially if the International Olympic Committee had covered the expenses of participating NHL players previously.

The Pyeongchang Winter Games will take place in South Korea from February 9-25 next year. Ovechkin still plans to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics, even if it means leaving his Washington Capitals in the middle of the National Hockey League season.

"I'm not going to be able to go anymore", he said. The NHL allowed its players to participate in the last five Olympics.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith did not say what his decision would be if the NHL's stance did not change.

Lightning defenceman Anton Stralman, one of Backlund's teammates at the World Cup, sugar-coated his comments even less.

The league wanted the matter resolved before the playoffs begin April 12.

Either way, the Olympics won't be the same and it's the fans of hockey - particularly those in Canada - who are the biggest losers.

Toews, however, said he would not defy the league as Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin said he would. Much appears to depend on whether owners give their players permission to go. I'm pretty sure everything is going to be fine. "Ovechkin says he's going". I thought it was more of a posturing thing, like we've seen so many times with this. "Maybe they will let us go".

"Then we can re-open the discussion, maybe not for ever but to come back with some so-called game changers to the (NHL team) owners which would then probably help to find a better decision than we have now", he said.

Fellow Swede Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators called it a "terrible decision" that he hopes changes.

"It was probably the biggest honor of my life being picked for that team, just alone", Duchene said. "All these young guys that are trying to make their mark on hockey, and they may not be able to get their chance to on the global stage". The vast majority of players will never go pro or touch an National Basketball Association court yet I watch every game I can throughout the tournament because of the stakes, the drama, and the excitement that comes with every player trying to make the most of a once in a lifetime opportunity. "I'd love to have a business model like that". "I truly believe the real hockey fan will still be excited about the Olympics".

"I've been twice", the Leafs head coach said. "You are going to be putting yourself in breach of the contract you have signed with your team, which has been collectively bargained", he said.

For many it was the patriotic opportunity on the grandest global stage that was too alluring to pass up. Earlier in the day, Canada defeated Russian Federation, and it was during that game that the news of the NHL's decision on the Olympics began circulating in earnest.

All the moments were magical in their own way - people lined up at 4 a.m.to watch the Sochi gold medal game at bars on TV - and they became a huge part of Canadian hockey lore. It remains hard to see the league ultimately spurning that opportunity, though what changes the equation is still a mystery. The NHL last year offered the NHLPA a deal allowing Olympic participation in exchange for a three-year extension of the CBA, but the players turned that down.

"We had two plans from the very beginning".

  • Joanne Flowers