- On Sunday, the National Hockey League suspended all games involving cross-border travel between Canada and the United States, putting the players’ ability to compete in the 2022 Beijing Olympics in jeopardy.
The NHL was supposed to take a three-week break in February to participate in the Winter Games for the 1st time since 2014 in Sochi, but with nearly 40 games postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks. The league may now have to use that time to get the regular season back on track.
The league announced on Sunday that a decision on the Olympics would be made in the coming days.
“Given the disorder to the NHL’s regular-season schedule pushed by recent COVID-related events and the ongoing uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID pandemic,” a league spokesman said Sunday. “The NHL and NHLPA are actively busily the issue of NHL Player participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, or expect to be in a position to announce a final determination in the coming days.”
On top of the two dozen games already canceled due to Covid-19 concerns, officials postponed about a dozen cross-border games on Sunday between December 20 and 23.
“Due to concerns about cross-border travel and the fluid nature of federal travel restrictions, all games involving a Canadian-based team playing a United States-based team from Monday, December 20 through the start of the holiday break on December 23 will be postponed and rescheduled,” the NHL said in a news release.
The NHL has until January 10 to withdraw from the Olympics without financial penalty. Only one NHL player, Robin Lehner, a backup goalie for Team Sweden, has stated his intention to decline an invitation to the Olympics.
Team Canada’s top player, Connor McDavid, recently stated that he is eager to compete in the Games but has heard rumors about someone testing positive and having to spend a long time in quarantine.
Source: NDTV News
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