The pandemic has wrecked a lot in the world, and especially the sports world. The 2020 Summer Olympics will now kick off a full year later, which leaves only 3 years for returning athletes to prepare, for the 2024 games. You would think, given the time frame that those Olympics would be the only ones effected, right? Wrong.
The NHL is currently unsure, regarding their players positioning, in said games. It isn’t just the pandemic which offers concerns still of safety, in the NHL commissioners mind. There is also the idea of how quickly these games are approaching, and how, for lack of a better wording, messed up, the recent season has been schedule wise.
“We have real concerns about whether or not it’s sensible to be participating, We’re already past the time that we hoped this would be resolved. We’ll deal with it, just as we’ve managed to be agile and flexible over the last 15 months. But we’re getting to be on a rather short time frame now because this can’t go on indefinitely.” The NHL Commissioner commented recently. ( https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/gary-bettman-still-unsure-if-nhl-players-will-compete-in-2022-winter-olympics-we-have-real-concerns/).
In a way, he has a point. The pandemic still isn’t completely under control. Further, you should never rush athletes. The Olympics are super important, but so is the health of the players, be it from Covid, or Injury, in a rush to prepare and qualify. On the other hand, as he points out, Covid will never go away, and we must learn to work around it.
Many fans and players alike hope to have an answer to this question this month. When the NHL has their 2021 Draft, currently scheduled for July 23rd, this is when the organization will release their next season schedule. They must have a decision, by that release, as the players will need weeks away from regular season play, as to tark part in qualifiers.
If the NHL misses this upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games, it will be the seconded in a row, which an American team was not in the running for gold. Skullking Sports will keep you posted on updates, regarding the NHL’s decision, later this month.