This was previously up in the air, but Friday the NHL and its players union came to an agreement with the IIHF and IOC to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
It will be the first Olympics for NHL players since 2014 in Sochi and the first best-on-best international tournament since the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in Toronto.
The agreement allows for the possibility of a later decision to withdraw in the event evolving COVID-19 conditions are deemed by the NHL and NHLPA to render participation by NHL players to be impractical or unsafe.
The 2021-22 NHL season will break from Feb. 3-22 for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and the Olympic men’s hockey tournament, which culminates with the gold medal game Feb. 20.
NHL players participated in five Olympics from 1998-2014 but did not go to PyeongChang in 2018. The League position has been that competing in the Olympics disrupts the NHL season, particularly when not held in North America.
But last year, when the NHL and the NHLPA extended the collective bargaining agreement through the 2025-26 season, they agreed to go to the Olympics if they could reach an agreement with the IIHF.
This is a good thing, I’d say. International hockey is so good. Such a quality product. The skill, the speed, the open ice. Less mucking and grinding and bullshitting on the boards. Fewer penalties. It is a clean and smooth game. Whenever you can get the best in the world playing against each other, we should try to do it.
RE: the Flyers, they play at home against Winnipeg on Tuesday, February 1st, and then will be back in action on Wednesday, February 23rd, in Detroit. In the 2014 Olympics, Andrej Meszaros, Michael Raffl, Kimmo Timonen, Jake Voracek, and Mark Streit all represented their countries. This year, you’d assume 3-5 guys will be there. Probably Giroux, Coots, Oskar Lindblom, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Provy. Maybe Cam Atkinson or Kevin Hayes if they’re having good years. We shall see.