Nope, not Vancouver Canucks signings, but it is breaking news … based on reports from those close to the league, the NHL players to Beijing scenario is minutiae away from reality.
Hockey Wanderlüst, the international hockey newsletter, and its columnist Ken Yaffe, after consulting sources close to the National Hockey League, is reporting that the NHL to the Olympics is a foregone conclusion.
Barring a remarkably insane Covid re-outbreak, the big boys are going and final plans are being put in place as we speak.
Note: Yaffe worked at the league for two decades, for most of which he ran the international department.
The league has expressed hesitance about the players going to Beijing because of the major interruption to its business, injury concerns, and stopping a season that’s just one removed from blanket COVID protocols.
However, as part of the 2020 CBA agreement extension, the league promised the players a best effort to facilitate Olympic participation in exchange for other concessions including the playoff bubble.
The league passed off the IIHF negotiations to the NHLPA, and also created a nearly three week hole in the NHL schedule to make it happen.
The league recently learned that the IIHF would pay for the players’ insurance coverage, including for Covid. It now appears the best-on-best tournament will happen in Beijing.