COVID-19 Has Forced The NHL To Not Participate In The Winter Olympics
The COVID-19 problem in the National Hockey League has forced the decision to pull its players from playing in the Beijing Olympics.
Having the best of the best to play on the U.S.A.s hockey team is important, but you need healthy players to do so while not disrupting the NHL.
COVID-19 cases for NHL players and staff have ravaged the league over the last two weeks with 44 postponed games out of the 49 that have to be rescheduled before the end of the season.
According to FOX 17, "The National Hockey League respects and admires the desire of NHL Players to represent their countries and participate in a 'best on best' tournament," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press release. "Accordingly, we have waited as long as possible to make this decision while exploring every available option to enable our Players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games."
The NHL has already paused their season for 5 days because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
To be clear, the NHL players that were to play in the Olympics were not only playing for the USA team but also other countries.
The NHL's decision to pull out of the winter Olympics only affects two players from the Detroit Red Wings. Captain Dylan Larkin was set to play for Team USA, and Moritz Seider was set to play for Germany.
COVID-19 surge wasn't the only part of the decision to pull NHL players out of the Olympics. Testing positive in China could lead to a player being in quarantine and stuck overseas for 5 weeks which would hurt many teams in the NHL. Plus the league has its own issue of making up all the postponed games.
The NHL will not be fined by the Olympics since they had until January 10 to make a decision. The league looks forward to participating in the 2026 Olympics in Italy.