There was certainly no shortage of impassioned pleas to the NHL at the World Hockey Summit to have their players continue participating in the Olympics, but practicality, not passion, will determine whether the best players in the world suit up in Sochi in 2014.
To that end, in a one-on-one interview with THN.com after the World Hockey Summit, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said neither he nor commissioner Gary Bettman was moved by the many urgings they received from all corners of the hockey world to play in Sochi. That doesn’t mean they fell on deaf ears, it simply means other factors will be far more important.
It’s difficult to say exactly what the NHL wants from the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation in return for continued participation, but you can bet two of the main requests will be some of the hundreds of millions of dollars hockey generates and more NHL control over the tournament.
But even with that, Daly said there are built-in issues associated with the Olympics that make it a difficult sell for the league, particularly since it has not seen a significant surge of any kind because of Olympic participation.
Daly also touched on the Phoenix Coyotes situation and the possibility of Donald Fehr becoming the interim associate director of the NHL Players’ Association.
REPORTER: Ken Campbell | PRODUCER: Ted Cooper
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