- © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Rodionov
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Rodionov
MOSCOW, January 11 (R-Sport) - The NHL is likely to stop its players competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics, leading to a tournament without hockey’s biggest stars, Stanley Cup winner and double gold medalist Slava Fetisov told R-Sport on Friday.
After a four-month lockout hit players’ and owners’ earnings, Fetisov believes stopping the NHL for the Sochi Olympics next February would be an expense too far.
“When half a season is lost, everyone lost money. Stopping the championship for another two weeks, I don’t know,” he said.
“We’ll hope they take smart decisions on this topic, but I strongly doubt it.”
NHL players have competed in every Olympics since 1998, but the issue is one of the few to remain unresolved after a new collective bargaining agreement was drawn up Sunday.
An Olympics without NHL players could strongly favor host team Russia, which could draw on the deep talent pool of the Russia-based KHL, widely held up as the world’s second-strongest league.