AP Source: NHLPA rejects offer to extend CBA for Olympics
NHL players could still go to the 2018 Olympics, but it won’t be in exchange for extending the collective bargaining agreement through 2025.
A person with direct knowledge of the decision said the Players’ Association on Friday rejected the NHL’s offer to extend the current CBA three years in exchange for an agreement to go to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it wasn’t being formally announced.
The Canadian Press first reported the NHLPA rejected the offer, which was made by the NHL amid talks with the International Ice Hockey Federation and International Olympic Committee.
NHL players have participated in the past five Olympics dating to 1998, but there’s doubt about 2018 because of the IOC’s reluctance to pay for insurance and expenses. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has set a January deadline for a decision.
IOC President Thomas Bach said it’s in the interest of all parties for NHL players to be in the Olympics. He told The Olympic Channel that that “all the rational arguments are speaking in favor of participation.”
Players have expressed a desire to go to the Olympics, but not in exchange for this long of an extension of the CBA. Currently either side could opt out of the agreement in the fall of 2019.