The Ice Hockey World Association IIHF wants to clarify the next winter games in the past clarity about an Olympic participation of professionals from the North American League NHL. IIHF President Luc Tardif was disappointed on Thursday in Beijing that due to the Corona pandemic, it was not possible to have players from the best league in the world.
After the cancellation from North America shortly before Christmas it was a big challenge to organize the Olympia tournament in Beijing. “I do not want to be in the same situation in Cortina 2026,” said Teldif.
NHL participation: Tardif wants to clarify
The aim for the next winter games in Italy be it to have an agreement earlier. The Frenchman from Canada showed himself optimistic that this will succeed, but also underlined that he wool will not exercise pressure. The NHL had stopped break during Olympia four years ago to stop players for the tournament in South Korean Pyeongchang.
For the winter games in China, a return was planned, but the NHL decided, however, while Olympia played on and to catch up many because of the Corona Pandemic fancy lots. So the German team was missing among other superstar Leon Draisaitl.
Olympia ice hockey in summer? TARDIF issues cancellation
Tardif underlined despite the lack of players from the best league in the world: “The gold medal will always have the same value.” To stimulate NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to integrate ice hockey into the summer games, Teldif said: “That will not happen in my opinion.” Ice hockey belong in the winter.
At the next talks with the NHL guidance, it is now about eliminating the frustration on both sides. “It was also frustrating for fans and players,” Tardif said. The 68-year-old-chosen 68-year-old, which was only elected last year, did not want to wait for an agreement until the last moment, they should not give them a year before Olympics. The strict corona provisions in China have made the organization of the tournament to a great challenge, said Tardif: “The Covid protocol was not made for team sports.”