SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — National Hockey League representatives are in South Korea to inspect Olympic facilities as the league mulls a decision on whether to let its players appear for a sixth consecutive Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Pyeongchang's organizing committee said the NHL delegation led by
Pyeongchang organizers consider securing the participation of NHL players as a critical issue as ice hockey is one of the most popular sports at the Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee's negotiations with the NHL over having the league's players competing in Pyeongchang have stalled over the IOC's decision not to pay for NHL players' travel and insurance as it has in the past.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently told The Associated Press he felt "negative" about the chances the league's players will compete in Pyeongchang.
Christophe Dubi, the IOC's executive director of the Olympic Games, told reporters earlier this month that the NHL deciding to inspect the Gangneung facilities was a "very positive step," but didn't offer a firm answer on whether the IOC would consider allowing the NHL to skip the Pyeongchang Games before returning for Beijing in 2022.