NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said time is running out to reach a deal to send players to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, casting doubt on the league’s return to that event after skipping it in 2018.
The league, players’ union, International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation continue to negotiate with the Olympics seven months away. Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday night that the pandemic and disruption to next season are among the concerns, along with the lack of an agreement.
“We have real concerns about whether it’s sensible,” Bettman said, noting the league will go if a deal can be reached. “We’re getting to be on a rather short timeframe.”
In other news:
— The league announced it will hold All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2022, with exact dates to be determined.
— The Minnesota Wild will host St. Louis in the 13th Winter Classic at Target Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s Twins, on Jan. 1. The Wild had been awarded the 2021 showcase but the schedule was shortened to 56 games and play didn’t begin until late January. The Wild hosted an outdoor Stadium Series game in 2016, against Chicago at the University of Minnesota’s football stadium.
The NHL Stadium Series will see Nashville hosting Tampa Bay on Feb. 26 at Nissan Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.