Olympics : In December, the NHL officially announced that the league’s club players would not travel to Beijing 2022. Many hockey players, and first of all Alexander Ovechkin, thereby lost their dream of winning the Olympics, and the Russian national team – their strongest line-up. But the FHR did not reconcile and are looking for a way to get at least someone from North America. MK-Sport tells the details.
Back in December, the National Hockey League began to reschedule matches on a massive scale because dozens of players got into covid protocols, and then suspended the season altogether. The participation of NHL players in the Beijing Olympics became more and more problematic. And although, under an agreement with the IIHF and the IOC, the league finally agreed to release the hockey players, the managers foreseen the opportunity to back up. And they took advantage of it.
In December, an official decision was made not to let the NHL representatives go to the 2022 Games. There are several reasons for this decision. In particular, the postponed matches still need to be played sometime, and it is impossible to compact the calendar indefinitely. In addition, athletes who passed a positive test in Beijing risked being in a long quarantine – from three to five weeks, and without the opportunity to leave China. Losing players for such a long time and then waiting for them to get in shape again is too expensive. And many players themselves refused to play for the Olympic team.
For example, Vegas and Canada defender Alex Pietrangelo said he was afraid to go: “I have four small children. At the Olympics, I could potentially stay in quarantine for up to five weeks – that’s too long away from my family. ” Sweden and San Jose player Erik Karlsson also said before the NHL decision that he is most likely to stay at home.
Russian players tried not to comment, although, according to Tampa player Mikhail Sergachev , everyone was upset, but everyone understands: “The NHL is a corporation, big business. Their position is understandable too. They are losing money. And it is their right under the contract to make such a decision. “
But in Russia they have not resigned themselves to such an outcome and are trying to find a solution. According to Match TV, FHR developed a special plan that was sent to the players.
Firstly, permission was obtained from the IIHF and the IOC that players from the extended roster could join the team in Beijing.
Secondly, allegedly in the case of a positive test, it will be possible to fly from China to Russia, because a charter will be urgently organized. So far, representatives of the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee have not voiced such a possibility in any way.
Third, there will be financial compensation from the FHR for missing two or three weeks of the NHL season if the club refuses to pay salaries to the players.
Now hockey players need to somehow negotiate with the clubs, but the options are one crazier than the other. Or break contact, go through a draft of rejections and try to re-sign an agreement with your team after the end of the Games. Or retire to the NHL while retaining the club’s right to a player under 35. But it is difficult to expect hockey players to take such difficult and risky steps. But maybe the dream of Alexander Ovechkin is more important than all this bureaucracy and legal subtleties? Breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record for Ovi, though, could be just as important.
The coaching staff must decide on the Olympic line-up by January 23rd, and by the evening flight on February 2nd, they should fly to Beijing.
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