The International Olympic Committeee called the NHL's decision to not allow it players to participate at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, “regrettable,” adding they feel sorry for the athletes who won't get to compete.
The NHL had allowed its athletes to participate in each of last five consecutive Olympics.
“In an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 Regular Season schedule without any break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games,” the league said in a statement.
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The IOC said that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) offered the same conditions to the NHL as they did in previous Olympic games, where the insurance and travel costs were covered.
“The IOC, which distributes 90 per cent of its revenue for the development of sport in the world, obviously cannot treat a national commercial league better than not-for-profit International Sports Federations which are developing sport globally,” the IOC said in a statement.
“The ice hockey tournament at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will nonetheless be a very exciting one, because the players from all the other professional ice hockey leagues will participate, and will be very much welcomed by their Olympic teams.”