NHL Schedule For 2021-22 To Include Break Around Winter Olympics

NHL players participated in five consecutive Olympics between 1998 and 2014

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The NHL hasn’t decided whether to allow its players to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics but the league seemingly is moving in that direction.

Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed Wednesday night the 2021-22 NHL schedule will include a break for the Winter Games, which will take place in February in Bejing. However, Bettman stopped short of announcing whether NHL players will participate in the Games.

“I don’t believe there will be an update on the Olympics by the time we release the schedule,” Bettman said, per The Associated Press’ Tim Booth. “We’ll do what we need to do under the circumstances to release the schedule, and then if things change we?ll do what needs to be done.”

NHL players competed in five consecutive Olympics between 1998 and 2014. However, the league pulled out of the 2018 Olympics.

Bettman confirmed talks with the NHL Players’ Association over their 2022 Olympics participation remain ongoing, but they won’t reach an agreement by 6 p.m. ET when the NHL releases its 2021-22 schedule.

?We agreed (during) the shutdown, if that’s what the players wanted (we would do it) assuming it could be done under the appropriate terms and conditions,” Bettman said. “And there?s still some open issues that I know the Players? Association is working on.”

The NHL is targeting a normal 82-game season for 2021-22, which will begin in October. Training camps will begin in September with preseason action commencing toward the end of the month.

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