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Top administrator Nicholson predicts NHL players will return to Winter Games

NHL.com @NHL

BANGKOK - A senior Canadian ice hockey official believes NHL players will return to the Winter Olympics, and is urging an early decision this time.

The participation of NHL players in the Olympics is contentious because of disruption to the league season and teams' concerns over injury risks.

Bob Nicholson, a vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation and former Hockey Canada chief, was asked Friday about the prospect of NHL players competing at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

He said "the players want to go but it's very difficult for the NHL."

He says "if everyone agrees to take some and leave some on the table, I think we'll see NHL players in the future."

NHL players have participated in every Winter Olympics since 1998.

South Korea has little hockey tradition.

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