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Alex Ovechkin says he'll play in the Olympics despite NHL's stance

Alex Ovechkin says he'll play in the Olympics despite NHL's stance

Several players have said they would go irrespective of the NHL's decision.

"I didn't change my mind and I won't", said Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals captain who's still chasing a first Olympic medal.

While the NHLPA statement likely doesn't speak for every National Hockey League player, the majority of National Hockey League athletes seem to enjoy Olympic competition and donning their nation's colors.

"The IOC, which distributes 90 percent of its revenue for the development of sport in the world, obviously can not treat a national commercial league better than not-for-profit global sports federations which are developing sport globally", the Olympic body said in a statement. "It means a lot to a lot of players". A decent respect for the opinions of the players matters.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is going to have his hands full with this decision. "But I know everyone in Canada gets more up to watch Team Canada than even their favorite Canadian team for one of an 82-game schedule", Duchene said. But, general unhappiness is starting to filter in throughout the league as players speak to reporters after morning skate.

Sittler said it's a loss for players, who may not get another chance to compete on this kind of worldwide stage.

Bouwmeester wondered if the NHL's decision truly closes the door on the Olympics, or it's part of the posturing.

"It's disappointing that the best players in the world won't be on the ice on the men's side come 2018, and it's also a lost opportunity for the NHL to help grow a market in South Korea, to grow hockey", Coyne said.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wanted the players to compete in the Olympics and reached out to the International Olympic Committee, the IIHF and the NHL Players' Association to try to find a solution. The NHL not taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics could be a blunder that will be hard to recover from.

The NHL on April 3 said it would not restructure its season to accommodate the Games, making it impossible for league players to attend the Games without missing their team's league matches. While the 2022 Beijing Games are seen as more appealing in that sense, it's worth remembering South Korea has a population of more than 50 million and is just one hour ahead of China's capital. It's the biggest opportunity in your life to play in the Olympic Games.

"It is a pity but it is not a surprise", ski federation president Gian Franco Kasper told The Associated Press. National Hockey League players are patriotic and they do not take this lightly.

Unlike Ovechkin, however, Toews said he would not defy the league.

That wasn't an issue for the Vancouver Games in 2010, but discussions intensified prior to the Sochi Games in 2014.

Ovechkin told media in Toronto on Tuesday that he wants to play for his country and has no plan to change his mind on the matter. "I thought for sure that we'd be going". "Everybody wants to go there".

The NHL has not decided whether to allow teams to make decisions on a case-by-case basis about players participating in the 2018 Olympics. It's too bad, I think with the Olympics in South Korea, it would have been an unbelievable opportunity again to promote our game with the best players on the ice. I might get punished in some way. In the United States, 73 percent said they were not in favor of the break, and in Canada, 53 percent were not in favor.

Lundqvist looked dumbfounded when asked about likely having played in his final Olympics.

Canada has captured the most gold medals in the NHL-filled Olympics, grabbing three (2002,2010,2014).

The IOC, meanwhile, has promised that the Winter Games ice hockey tournament will still be a success.

"We just want to showcase our game as much as possible".

The owners made this decision largely because they wanted to receive concessions in the next collective bargaining agreement in exchange for interrupting their regular-season schedule for two weeks and allowing their players to risk injury representing their countries.

Players turned that down.


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