Just one day after the 2013 NHL Draft, representatives from the National Hockey League, NHLPA, and the IIHF met to further discuss the participation of the NHL in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
While it was said that the negotiations were moving in a positive direction, they were not ready to say that an agreement had been reached.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly met for over 5 hours with representatives from the National Hockey League Players’ Association, which included NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, and members of the International Ice Hockey Federation, which included IIHF President Rene Fasel.
Both Fehr and Fasel joined Commissioner Bettman as he spoke to the media following the event.
When asked when we could possibly see a resolution to the matter Commissioner Bettman responded with “Soon, very soon.”
There are still some I’s to dot and T’s to cross,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Rene has to report back to the IOC, Don has a meeting with his executive board beginning next week. So while we’re on track and things are moving along, I think it’s fair to say we’re not quite ready to announce it’s done.” ~ via NHL.com
Bettman feels that at this point, there are still some issues to work out, but he feels that the negotiations are moving in the right direction.
There’s still a little bit of work to do, but I think on most issues, but not all issues, there’s a pretty good understanding of where we need to be.”
At this point, all parties involved are headed back to their respective organizations to report back and further discuss.
The only exception to this is Commissioner Gary Bettman, who has been given authorization by the NHL Board of Governors to make a deal on Olympic participation with no further approval from the Board.
Fasel was expected to meet with the IOC as well as the IIHF last week regarding the negotiations. Fehr wrapped up his meetings yesterday with the NHLPA Executive Board who have been meeting in Chicago since Monday.
All sides seem to be in agreement that they will come to a solution in the end. Unfortunately, they will not specify what kind of a solution, but for the time being, things are looking positive.
Do you think the NHL will come to an agreement with the IOC allowing NHL players to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi? What do you think is going to have to happen before a deal can be sealed? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.