A formal announcement is expected to come tomorrow, but it’s reportedly a done deal that the NHL is withdrawing from the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The decision reportedly comes as COVID-19 is surging through several NHL teams with the new Omicron variant taking center stage in North America.
It has seemed inevitable for at least a few days now. The story from @john_wawrow and me on NHL deciding to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics: https://t.co/BxcoAZouvJ— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) December 21, 2021
50 games across the league have already been postponed due to COVID-19 related issues, and last night, the NHL announced it was pressing the pause button on all games until after the holiday break.
“These are opportunities and experiences of a lifetime that you don’t get very many of as an athlete, and you might only get one,” said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who won Olympic gold with Canada in 2010 and 2014. “It just might happen to fall in your window and if it doesn’t happen to work out, it’s unfortunate.”
This will be second straight Winter Olympics where NHL players do not participate on behalf of their respective countries.