NHL's Oly decision a punch in the gut

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AARHUS, Denmark (AP) — Like Russia's star Alex Ovechkin, the International Ice Hockey Federation thinks NHL players need not miss the 2018 Winter Olympics — though team owners likely now need a "game-changer" offer on the table. Russian star Alex Ovechkin has said he'll leave his Washington Capitals to compete at the Olympics regardless of the NHL's decision. "I know we really want to go, and I think we deserve to go and the world deserves to see hockey at that level".

The NHL has announced that NHL players won't go to the winter games next year because the majority of clubs don't want to disrupt the 2017-18 season.

"As a player, the level of hockey there (I know it's high in the playoffs, but.) when you're in a one-game-takes-all and you're on Canada playing the USA, there's no better hockey you're going to be a part of", Keith told ESPN.

The NHL decision will impact nearly every major hockey-playing nation since the Swedish, Finnish, Russian, U.S. and Canadian teams are nearly entirely comprised of NHL representatives. It's obviously a decision that the National Hockey League felt they had to make.

"I didn't change my mind, and I won't", Ovechkin said ahead of Tuesday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

So his disappointment at Monday's news, that the National Hockey League will not go to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, was considerable.

"Many players have expressed a wish to represent their nations in the Games and so do fans in their home countries. these wishes should not be ignored", she told AFP.

Swedish forward Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators called it a "terrible decision" that he hopes changes. It's the biggest opportunity in our life to play in Olympic Games.

Speaking to a reporter from InsideTheGames.biz at the SportAccord convention in Aarhus, Denmark, on Tuesday, Bach said, "We have to see".

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"It's obviously a bad decision, in my opinion", Predators forward Filip Forsberg said Tuesday of the decision to skip the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, adding his voice to a league full of upset players.

With all due respect, they shouldn't have been there anyway. "I think it's disappointing for fans, definitely".

The best women will, though that hardly serves as consolation for both NBC and organizers of the upcoming Olympics in South Korea.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wanted the players to compete in the Olympics and reached out to the International Olympic Committee, the IIHF and the NHL Players' Association to try to find a solution. I'm pretty sure everything is going to be fine.

When asked about Ovechkin's remarks, Bettman didn't go into details, saying that individual cases will "be dealt with appropriately at the appropriate time".

The Avs had two current players participate in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014; Matt Duchene competed for Team Canada and Gabriel Landeskog competed for Team Sweden.

"That would be kind of weird to see some guys leaving, and it's only going to be a few players, too", Hornqvist said.

Right now that's about the only certain thing about hockey in the Olympics. "Will Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel - some of these great young players that play now - are they going to say, 'The (heck) with you, I'm going?' That's going to be really interesting".