NHL to allow players to compete at Winter Olympics in 2026 and 2030

TORONTO — The NHL is heading back to the Olympics.

Commissioner Gary Bettman announced today during the league's all-star festivities that its players will be allowed to compete at the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina, Italy, and at the 2030 Games, which is currently without a host city.

The NHL went to the Games five times between 1998 and 2014 — the last best-on-best men's tournament — before skipping the 2018 event for financial reasons.

The league was set to return to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, but backed out because of COVID-19 concerns.

The upcoming international calendar is also expected to include a four-nation tournament involving the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Finland next year.

The league last held a World Cup in 2016. That event featured an under-23 Team North America and Team Europe made up of small hockey powers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press