NHL stars to play in Olympics again in Sochi in 2014 after NHL, union reach deal

 

 
 
 
 
VANCOUVER, B.C.,: FEBRUARY 28, 2010- - Olympic Canadian hockey fans celebrate Team Canada's Gold Medal game victory over U.S.A.  in Vancouver on Sunday, February 28, 2010.  (Les Bazso/PNG)  (For PNG story, Olympics, 2010) [PNG Merlin Archive]
 
 

VANCOUVER, B.C.,: FEBRUARY 28, 2010- - Olympic Canadian hockey fans celebrate Team Canada's Gold Medal game victory over U.S.A. in Vancouver on Sunday, February 28, 2010. (Les Bazso/PNG) (For PNG story, Olympics, 2010) [PNG Merlin Archive]

Photograph by: Les Bazso, Vancouver Sun Vancouver Sun PNG

A deal that allows NHL players to participate the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was struck Friday.

More than 120 NHL players are expected to suit up for the 12 men’s teams that have qualified to play in the Olympic tournament.

The Vancouver Canucks should have a handful of players participating, including Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who will almost certainly play for Sweden. Defenceman Alex Edler should also be included on the Swedish team.

Centre Ryan Kesler (United States) and goalie Roberto Luongo (Canada) are also expected to play.

The 2013-14 NHL schedule will take a break from Feb. 9 until Feb. 26 to allow for participation in the Winter Games.

The deal between the NHL, the NHL Players Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation took longer than expected and has held up release of the 2013-14 NHL schedule. That schedule was expected to released later on Friday.

“The National Hockey League features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a news release. “The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our Players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere.”

This will mark the fifth consecutive appearance by NHL players at the Winter Olympics.

“The players are very pleased that an agreement has been reached that will allow the world’s best hockey players to compete at the Winter Games in February,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director. “Having the opportunity to wear their nation’s sweater in Sochi is something the players look forward to.”

The Olympic hockey tournament runs from Feb. 12 to 23. Canada, which plays in a group with Norway, Finland and Austria, opens the tournament Feb. 13 against Norway.

 
 
 
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VANCOUVER, B.C.,: FEBRUARY 28, 2010- - Olympic Canadian hockey fans celebrate Team Canada's Gold Medal game victory over U.S.A.  in Vancouver on Sunday, February 28, 2010.  (Les Bazso/PNG)  (For PNG story, Olympics, 2010) [PNG Merlin Archive]
 

VANCOUVER, B.C.,: FEBRUARY 28, 2010- - Olympic Canadian hockey fans celebrate Team Canada's Gold Medal game victory over U.S.A. in Vancouver on Sunday, February 28, 2010. (Les Bazso/PNG) (For PNG story, Olympics, 2010) [PNG Merlin Archive]

Photograph by: Les Bazso, Vancouver Sun Vancouver Sun PNG

 
VANCOUVER, B.C.,: FEBRUARY 28, 2010- - Olympic Canadian hockey fans celebrate Team Canada's Gold Medal game victory over U.S.A.  in Vancouver on Sunday, February 28, 2010.  (Les Bazso/PNG)  (For PNG story, Olympics, 2010) [PNG Merlin Archive]
Canada's Roberto Luongo skates with the flag following a 3-2 overtime victory over the USA in the men's gold medal hockey final at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver.ID Number OLY28-33
Don Cherry touches the ‘Lucky Loonie’ to wish good luck to the men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams in Vancouver on February 1, 2010 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Lucky Loonie was buried surreptitiously by Canadian ice-maker Trent Evans at centre ice before the men’s and women’s 2002 Olympic Ice Hockey tournaments in Salt Lake City. After Team Canada’s second hockey Gold Medal victory, the Lucky Loonie was dug up and presented to Team Canada General Manager Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky then donated the Lucky Loonie to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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