The NHL announced Monday that it will not participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, ending a run of five consecutive Winter Olympics with NHL players.

“We have previously made clear that while the overwhelming majority of our clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-18 NHL season for purposes of accommodating Olympic participation by some NHL players, we were open to hearing from any of the other parties who might have an interest in the issue (e.g., the IOC, the IIHF, the NHLPA, etc.) as to reasons the Board of Governors might be interested in re-evaluating their strongly held views on the subject,” the NHL said in a statement. “A number of months have now passed and no meaningful dialogue has materialized. Instead, the IOC has now expressed the position that the NHL’s participation in Beijing in 2022 is conditioned on our participation in South Korea in 2018. And the NHLPA has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the clubs. As a result, and in an effort to create clarity among conflicting reports and erroneous speculation, this will confirm our intention to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 reguladr season schedule without any break to accommodate the Olympic Winter Games. We now consider the matter officially closed.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said in the past several months that the owners were against Olympic participation for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was the 17-day break in the schedule required in February, a time when the National Football League’s season has ended and Major League Baseball’s season has yet to begin.

“I think the realities of Olympic participation are more apparent to our Board now and I think it just leads to less enthusiasm about the disruption,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles in January. “Quite frankly we don’t see what the benefit is from the game standpoint or the League standpoint with respect to Olympic participation.”

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SOURCE: NHL.com, Dan Rosen

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