Pyeongchang hopeful National Hockey League stars will play

"Because it's my country", Ovechkin added.

"I think it's disappointing for everyone".

"A huge opportunity to market the game at the biggest stage is wasted", he said. "So, I don't know, somebody [is] going to tell me 'don't go, ' I don't care, I just go", he told reporters.

Hopefully it's a decision that will be reversed so hockey fans can enjoy Olympic hockey at its best.

"Ovechkin is a three-time Hart Trophy victor", Voracek said.

"You have to respect your employers, your owner's decision", Toews said. If you can see the schedule is not going to the Olympics, then you don't bluff.

But that doesn't change the fact that they have a signed contract to play for National Hockey League teams during the same period of time as the Olympics.

"I don't think we should predict now what will happen until 2022", he said. "It doesn't matter what".

Some of Ovechkin's teammates, like fellow Russian forward Evgeni Kuznetsov, echoed their captain's sentiment in saying they would play regardless. "It's going to come down to the very last minute for me to when I really believe we're not going to go". "But it is what it is". Going to the games creates about a three-week shutdown in the schedule.

Which is to say, he still intends to go.

"We have a strategy and that would of course be easier and much nicer if this is with the National Hockey League than without", the German official said of a plan that includes the Russia-based KHL. "We'll see though. Maybe they'll let us go".

Bouwmeester wondered if the NHL's decision truly closes the door on the Olympics, or it's part of the posturing.

Moore, whose company purchased the NHL broadcast rights in 2013 for $5.2 billion, pointed out that the "horrible" time difference between Pyeongchang and Canada will mean most Olympic hockey games will be shown on a delayed basis, diluting their ratings impact for his sports channels. Take away the best players on the planet and Olympic hockey is no longer an enticing draw for spectators and sponsors. "Asia has a couple KHL teams now and it was a good opportunity for us to have a big tournament over there".

Crosby said there's "always that possibility" that the door remains open for a deal to get worked out.

It's bad for the sport, not just because of the big-picture opportunity lost but because of what it might do to future labor negotiations. That's wrong. That's not what the Olympics is for. "Greatest event you'll ever go to in your life". "It's just really frustrating". "You can say whatever". I think that'll be based on the individual. "They should be able to represent their country just as much as their team". "It's a great experience to have them at the Olympics".

In a statement, the league cited opposition from owners who didn't want to disrupt the 2017-18 season and said the International Olympic Committee, International Ice Hockey Federation and National Hockey League Players' Association did not engage in "meaningful dialogue" with the league for why it should participate. Gary Bettman is constantly criticized for stunting the growth of hockey. After five consecutive Olympic games with NHL stars, the league has changed directions.

"You've asked me this a million times, and you know the answers to all this".

  • Zachary Reyes