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Official: The NHL Is Not Going to the 2022 Olympics

The inevitable was made official this morning

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Around the Games: Day 11 - 2014 Winter Olympic Games Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When the NHL built the 2021-22 season schedule, they did so knowing two very important items; 1) the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging and 2) NHL players were going to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics in mid-February. Things sure can change with a quickness though and because of the tight schedule any games being postponed meant that participation in the games was going to be at risk.

Well, the inevitable was made official this morning as the NHL and the NHLPA released a joint statement announcing that NHL players will not be participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics due to the ongoing pandemic.

This announcement comes on the heels of the NHL shutting down all league activities for the rest of this week as the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 sent at least one player, coach, or staff member into the league’s COVID protocol in the span of a week. While Omicron forced the legaue’s and the PA’s hand in the matter, players were already expressing concern over China’s strict 5 week isolation should someone test positive. While it is disappointing for players who are watching what is probably their last chance at an Olympic medal, the risks far outweigh the rewards in these matters and it gives the NHL a nice chunk of time to make up the games that have already been postponed due to COVID.

The league is scheduled* to return to action on December 27th, if all goes accordingly.

*Schedule subject to change.