On Tuesday, it was confirmed that the NHL will be missing its second straight Winter Olympics as the league has withdrawn its participation in the 2022 Beijing Games. This comes in the aftermath and rise of COVID-19 cases surging across the league and postponing numerous games. Back in September, the NHL and its players warned that the league’s participation in the Olympics would be based on how majorly impacted the league would be by COVID cases and postponement of games, and sadly, that has become a reality.
With 50 games being postponed as of Tuesday, the NHL had no other choice but to pull the plug on their participation in the Olympics. With the rise of cases, it comes as no surprise of the NHL’s withdrawal, especially with them trying to finish their scheduled 82-game season and their three-week break in February that was supposed to be used for the Olympics. The All-Star game in Las Vegas will probably be the period the league looks to reschedule games.
Some facts to include as I write this article are:
There are 131 players players reported in active protocol (18% of rosters)
12 players over 24 hours, incl. 7 players cleared
24 teams w/ at least 1 player in protocol
50 games postponed (45 in last 8 days)
This will be the second straight Olympics the NHL will miss, with their last coming in Sochi in 2014 after skipping the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. With COVID ravaging not just the NHL, but all the major sports leagues in action right now, such as the NFL and NBA. But, what we do know is now we will have to wait until 2026 to see the NHL’s top players in Olympic action, which is an absolute bummer for older star veterans such as Sidney Crosby and what would have been his last chance to capture a gold medal.