Report: NHL nearing return to Olympics with IOC willing to meet needs

Thomas WilliamsHockey writer
Yahoo Sports Canada
The NHL are closing in on a return to the Olympics. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
The NHL are closing in on a return to the Olympics. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

After an absence from the 2018 Winter Olympics, the NHL is closing in on a deal to return in time for the 2022 Olympics held in Beijing.

The International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation are reportedly more willing to meet the needs of the NHL for them to participate once again, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

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Several issues were raised by commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL, but player insurance, travel costs and the freedom to promote their league on the international stage were among the most prominent talking points.

This turn of heart by the IOC and IIHF have come as a surprise: according to Friedman, the NHL was still looking at making Olympic participation as part of the upcoming conversation surrounding their collective bargaining agreement.

The 2018 Games was the first tournament since 1998 that was held without players from the NHL and it appears that there will be no consecutive Olympics without the world’s best hockey players.

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