Report: NHL Participation in 2022 Winter Olympics Under Pressure

As it stands right now, the NHL is still on track to send players to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in February. The league’s Olympic break begins the day after the end of the NHL All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. But after the Ottawa Senators and now the New York Islanders have had to have games postponed due to high numbers of players and personnel in COVID protocols, the idea of sending players to the Olympics is starting to get a bit stale.

In a Twitter thread from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, she details the possibility that the NHL and NHLPA may be implementing stricter COVID protocols for players during All-Star weekend to avoid COVID issues for players heading to Beijing following the end of the festivities.

The league has until January 10th to opt-out of sending players to the Olympics. They could opt-out after the January 10 deadline, but would face financial penalties, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.

I wouldn’t want to be stuck somewhere for three weeks either.

The idea that the NHL still wanted to hold an NHL All-Star weekend leading into the Olympic break never made much sense, at the time. In every other year over the past nearly two decades, the league did not have an All-Star break in an Olympic year. But with the uncertainty of COVID and the way the league reluctantly agreed to send players, the All-Star break gives the NHL the ability to potentially opt-out of the Olympics but still “put on a show” during that break period. If the league were to opt-out, there would be scheduling changes across the board to accommodate the then three-week gap in the season.

Again, as it stands now, the league is still planning to send players to Beijing. On the current trajectory in the league regarding COVID protocols though, it would seem like the NHL, a league that historically operates in their own interests rather than the interests of the sport of hockey itself, would lean towards keeping players home. The newly discovered COVID variant in South Africa doesn’t calm things down either. We shall see what comes in the next month and a half as the opt-in/opt-out deadline approaches.

written by

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.

more blackhawks news

MVP Buzz, Trade Targets, Dream Scenario, Draft Mistakes, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

When the Blackhawks won their three Stanley Cup championships in the previous decade, it required more than four games to earn the four necessary victories. And, before Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Jonathan Toews each of the three...

Panthers Take Stanley Cup Final Game 3 in Edmonton, Put Oilers on the Brink

I thought the last seconds of this game were a pretty perfect summation of this series. The Oilers were making a furious comeback, they trailed 4-1 in the 3rd period but fought back to make it 4-3. The puck was...

Florida Hangs On, Comparing Drafts, Chuck & Wayne, Utah’s In, Ottawa Selling, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Let's start our Friday with an interesting conversation that I always love to read and discuss. How does this year's draft class compare to last year's? When we had this debate before and after the 2023 NHL Draft, the hype...

Stanley Cup Final: Game Three – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight after a couple days off. Broadcast Info Puck Drop: 7:00 PM CTTV: ABC / ESPN+Radio: NHL Network Radio (Sirius/XM) Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Expected Lineups Florida Panthers Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Sam ReinhartMatthew Tkachuk...

NHL Mock Draft Roundup: Four New Post-Combine Blackhawks Projections To Consider

The 2024 NHL Scouting Combine is in the rearview mirror, which means we're now kinda-sorta transitioning our non-playoff eyes to the 2024 NHL Draft. I say kinda-sorta because Russian prospects who weren't able to attend the Combine will work out...

Fresh Nečas Rumors, GMKD Shopping, Laine Moving? Cooper Coaching Canada, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Let's talk about Martin Nečas for a moment, shall we? It's been a few days since his name came up, but the Blackhawks were mentioned in direct tie to him by Pierre LeBrun at The Athletic on Wednesday, so it's...

BN Blackhawks’ 2024 NHL Draft Big Board

We haven't watched the Blackhawks play in two months, but we have just six short weeks remaining until the 2024 NHL Draft begins. So we've been mostly focused on that -- and will continue to be. I've had a number...

Colliton’s New Gig, Cup Keepers, Cap Numbers, Connor’s (Former) Teammate, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

It's a relatively quiet week for the 30 teams not participating in the Stanley Cup Final, a list that includes the Blackhawks. But whenever we have a notable Old Friend Alert it's fun. And we got one on Tuesday when...

Dirty Draisaitl, Demidov Concerns, RFA Talk (Offer Sheet?), Barkley’s a Fan, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

We now have two Stanley Cup Final games in the books and, hoo boy did the Oilers even embarrass themselves last night. Edmonton got out-skated early and Warren Foegele took the first dirty penalty of the night for Edmonton. He...

Stanley Cup Final Game 2 Takeaways: Panthers Suffocate Oilers In 4-1 Win

A few Saturdays ago, I watched a really fun UFC Saturday night event between Islam Makhachev (defending his lightweight title) and Dustin Poirier. And that fight felt a lot like Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Poirier (the Oilers)...

Latest News

Dodgers vs. Royals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, June 15, 2024

Shohei Ohtani, batting .309 this season, leads the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-28) into a matchup with one of the league's other top hitters, Bobby Witt Jr. (.325 AVG) and the Kansas City Royals (40-31). Ohtani and the Dodgers are -218...

Pirates vs. Rockies Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, June 15, 2024

Bryan Reynolds (12 games) will look to add to his hitting streak when the Pittsburgh Pirates (33-36) and Colorado Rockies (24-45) meet Saturday at 9:10 PM ET, live on COLR from Coors Field. Reynolds and the Pirates are favored by...

Saturday’s WNBA Picks and Predictions – June 15

Today's WNBA schedule has lots in store. Among those two games is the New York Liberty playing the Las Vegas Aces.Keep reading and you'll find WNBA best bets for the contests on today's slate.WNBA picks todayNew York Liberty at Las...

Diamondbacks vs. White Sox Probable Starting Pitchers – June 15

The Arizona Diamondbacks (34-36) play at home against the Chicago White Sox (18-53) on Saturday. The matchup is set to begin at 10:10 PM ET.The Diamondbacks will give the nod to Scott McGough (1-3, 5.85 ERA), who is eyeing win...

Dodgers vs. Royals Probable Starting Pitchers – June 15

The Kansas City Royals (40-31) visit the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-28) for a road game in Los Angeles on Saturday. The game begins at 9:10 PM ET.The Dodgers will give the nod to Yoshinobu Yamamoto (6-2) against the Royals and...

Pirates vs. Rockies Probable Starting Pitchers – June 15

The Pittsburgh Pirates (33-36) face the Colorado Rockies (24-45) in Denver at 9:10 PM ET on Saturday.The Pirates will give the nod to Jared Jones (4-5, 3.27 ERA), who is eyeing win No. 5 on the season, and the Rockies...

Chicago Cubs Lineup: PCA Back in Center with the Wind Blowing Out

CUBS LINEUP — The Cubs are now a season-low four games under .500 and a season-high 7.5 games out of first place. And it's mid-June. If the turnaround doesn't happen soon, it's probably not going to happen at all. But...

Mariners vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Seattle Mariners (41-31) are favorites (-142) on the moneyline when they square off against the Texas Rangers (33-36) Saturday at 7:15 PM ET, live on FOX.Seattle's George Kirby gets the start, and he'll go against Texas' Nathan Eovaldi.Mariners vs....

Yankees vs. Red Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, June 15, 2024

Carlos Rodon will take the mound for the New York Yankees (50-22) Saturday looking for his 10th win of the season in a matchup with the Boston Red Sox (35-35). The Yankees are -173 favorites to pick up the win...

Kmet, Pace, Cunningham, Poles, Bagent, and Other Bears Bullets

A brief and random collection of scatter-brained Bears thoughts for your Saturday morning because my head is all over the place. I still can't believe the Atlanta Falcons turned down a fourth-round pick from the Bears to move back one...

more blackhawks news