Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter
Buffalo, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL Players’ Association will reject the league’s verbal proposal to extend the current collective bargaining agreement ( CBA ) in exchange for Olympic participation in 2018, sources said.
The union will formally notify the league of its decision before next week’s board of governors meeting in Florida.
The players rejected the league’s Olympic proposal, saying they want to play in the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang , South Korea.
The NHL has been lukewarm on Olympic participation at the 2018 Games in part because of the IOC’s decision to not pay players’ insurance or transportation along with game visibility because of the timezone .
Even if the players agreed, the proposal would still have to be endorsed by the NHL board of governors, and there would be no guarantee they would agree to extending the current CBA , which was ratified Jan. 12, 2013, after a four-month lockout.
“It’s pretty obvious the owners are pretty happy with the current deal,” said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist , who won an Olympic gold medal with Team Sweden in 2006 and a silver medal in 2014.
The sides will continue to discuss the NHL players’ Olympic participation.
“The Olympics is still a big platform for us to grow the game and expose the game to new fans,” Lundqvist said.
“Even though it’s in Asia, the time difference and all that, it’s a big market for the league, for hockey in general to grow. I hope to see NHL players in the Olympics,” he added.
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