SOCHI -- The NHL and NHL Players' Association are hoping to make a decision on future player participation in the Olympics as quickly as possible, perhaps within the next six months, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated in a press conference at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Tuesday.
The negotiations, which will involve the NHL, the Olympic organizing committee in South Korea, the NHLPA, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee, will determine whether the NHL sends its players to a sixth straight Olympics. NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr and IIHF President Rene Fasel also took part in the press conference.
"It's nothing that's been discussed; it's nothing that will be discussed while we're here in Sochi," Commissioner Bettman said. "All of us are here to enjoy this competition, and while I've seen lots of commentary over the last couple of weeks, both written and oral, the fact of the matter is there isn't anything that has been said in the last two weeks that hasn't been said for the last eight years.
"There are lots of people who have lots of opinions. Any of us could give you all the pros and cons involved. You can get quotes from any owner or any executive in the NHL on either side of the decision, and as I've said it isn't anything we're focused on and dealing with right now. We're all focused on what should be a terrific tournament, period, on that subject."