After months and months of negotiations, it’s official, folks. The National Hockey League’s players will return to Olympic competition at the 2022 Olympics, held this coming February in Beijing, China. The announcement was made by the International Ice Hockey Federation on Friday morning.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) September 3, 2021
The league and the NHLPA announced their participation in a joint press release:
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that they have concluded an Agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that confirms a break in the 2021-22 NHL Regular Season Schedule, subject to terms of the Agreement, in order to accommodate the participation of NHL Players in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Agreement allows for the possibility of a later decision to withdraw in the event evolving Covid conditions are deemed by the NHL/NHLPA to render participation by NHL Players to be impractical or unsafe.
Friend of the site John Hoven (of Mayor’s Manor) shared the NHLPA memo to players on Twitter:
Players are going to the Olympics. Memo was sent to NHL players… pic.twitter.com/OGqVsEKK1O
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) September 3, 2021
The big pieces:
- Federations send long lists to the IIHF on Oct. 15, 2021 – at which point those players are subject to WADA drug testing.
- Rosters are due to the IIHF in January.
- Players leave for China on Feb. 6, 2022.
- The NHL can opt out of the Olympics anyway if there are game postponements that can’t be rescheduled within the existing season window.