USA Hockey has now released a statement in regards to the breaking news that the NHL will not be participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
USA Hockey statement on NHL decision to not participate in the #WinterOlympics. pic.twitter.com/MskzkAtpgb
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 22, 2021
On Tuesday, news broke that the NHL/NHLPA had agreed that players would not participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics due to the increased cases of COVID-19.
A day later, the NHL released a statement confirming the news and adding that there will not be an Olympic break.
“The National Hockey League respects and admires the desire of NHL Players to represent their countries and participate in a ‘best on best’ tournament. Accordingly, we have waited as long as possible to make this decision while exploring every available option to enable our Players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Unfortunately, given the profound disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events — 50 games already have been postponed through Dec. 23 — Olympic participation is no longer feasible. We certainly acknowledge and appreciate the efforts made by the International Olympic Committee, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Beijing Organizing Committee to host NHL Players but current circumstances have made it impossible for us to proceed despite everyone’s best efforts. We look forward to Olympic participation in 2026.
“Our focus and goal have been and must remain to responsibly and safely complete the entirety of the NHL regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs in a timely manner. Therefore, with stringent health protocols once again in place, we will begin utilizing available dates during the Feb. 6-22 window (originally contemplated to accommodate Olympic participation) to reschedule games that have been, or may yet be, postponed.”