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NHL reaches agreement to send players to Sochi for Winter Games
NHL players will be returning to the Olympics this winter, with the league and players association finally reaching an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The league’s regular-season schedule is expected to be announced today, as the Olympics were the last hurdle that had to be cleared. The NHL will shut down from Feb. 9 to Feb. 26 so that players can travel to Russia to play in the Olympics.
“The National Hockey League features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our Players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere.”
Said NHLPA chief Donald Fehr: ““The players are very pleased that an agreement has been reached that will allow the world’s best hockey players to compete at the Winter Games in February. Having the opportunity to wear their nation’s sweater in Sochi is something the players look forward to.”