Gary Bettman shocks with his statement on players' potential participation in the 2026 Olympics

Published December 5, 2023 at 9:55 PM

Within the NHL, individuals with inside knowledge have been sharing reports from today's Board of Governor's sessions held in Seattle, covering a range of subjects. A significant focal point revolves around the potential participation—or lack thereof—of the league in the upcoming Olympic games.

Since 2014, the NHL has refrained from partaking in the Winter Olympics, and during today's discussions, Commissioner Gary Bettman strongly suggested that this pattern will persist. It seems probable that the league will opt out of the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan. From Bettman's remarks, it's apparent that he holds a firm stance against involvement in the Olympics, despite considerable support from players. It seems as though Bettman is actively seeking potential exceptions within the International Olympic Committee's construction schedule.

As per information disclosed by NHL insider Frank Seravalli, Bettman has articulated his reservations regarding this matter, stating:

"I don't think they've actually begun construction on it, which is a matter of some concern. We know it's important to the players to go, and we want to make it happen. We're going to be as flexible as we can, but at some point, we've got to do a schedule for that season."

Bettman emphasized the standard schedule followed for Olympic facilities, mentioning that,

"Normally when you build a building for the Olympics for a hockey tournament, it's done a year in advance, it's done a year in advance, and you have time to have events and test it and build the ice."

He proceeded by voicing skepticism regarding the schedule :

"They're projecting that it won't be done until the fourth quarter of '25, which is like six or eight weeks before the Olympics - if they're on time. And I think they're already late. But that's nothing we can control."

Source: Bruinsinsider
December 5   |   282 answers
Gary Bettman shocks with his statement on players' potential participation in the 2026 Olympics

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