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February 10, 2014 | 11:28am ET
Will Sochi be the last Olympics for NHL players?
TheFourthPeriod.com

The men's hockey tournament in Sochi has yet to begin, but talk of the 2018 games in South Korea has already started.

The NHL will not make a decision about future games until they assess what happens in Sochi; however, it's no secret the league isn't in particularly in favor of sending players to Pyeongchang, something TFP has reported since last year's lockout ended.

With long travel times, disruption to the NHL schedule and no particular interest in gaining a Korean following, NHL participation in the 2018 games is currently up in the air.

Instead of Olympic participation, the NHL wishes to reinstate the World Cup of Hockey -- an Olympic style tournament held in late summer to avoid interference with the NHL schedule.

TFP has learned that the NHL's preference is to reinstate the World Cup as early as 2016.

Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider ripped into NHL participation in the Olympic Games on Friday, arguing that the whole thing was "ridiculous."

"I think it's ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season. It screws up everything. How can anybody be happy breaking up their season? No other league does it, why should we? There's no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything, I can only see negatives," Snider told the media.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman began releasing NHL players to Nagano in 1998 with the intention of showcasing the NHL product, hopefully leading to a better TV deal in the United States.

There are currently 150 NHL players participating in the games in Sochi. The league will resume play on February 25.


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