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The NHL's 10-Year Olympics Absence has Ended


The chase towards Olympic glory is back on for the National Hockey League!


The National Hockey League recently shared with the public that its players are officially granted the chance to compete in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games hosted in Milan.


The Agreement

The agreement between the NHL, NHL Players' Association, and the International Hockey Federation ensures the inclusion of NHL players in both the 2026 and 2030 Winter Olympic games.



The NHL has been absent from the Olympics for an entire decade, as they last played on the ice in the 2014 Sochi Games. The League opted out of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea due to ongoing disagreements with the International Olympic Committee regarding a combination of travel costs and insurance.


In addition, although players were initially expected to participate in the 2022 Beijing Games, the NHL withdrew its involvement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The NHL's Complete Comeback

As part of the agreement, the League announced that its players will also participate in the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off. This tournament will take place in place of the All-Star Game next season and will include the top players from the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Finland. The team will compete between February 12 and 20 in one Canadian and one U.S. city.



Playing in the Olympics is significant for hockey's future, particularly as we strive to expand the sport both internationally and within our home communities. We can't ignore that the clock continues to tick loudly for these players, as the Olympics only happen once every four years. These individuals have less chance of seeing the ice every Olympics not played, which is disappointing for not just said players but also for fans who yearn to watch their favorite players on the ice.



Finally, after a long-awaited comeback, players can chase the gold again; best-on-best hockey is back for good!

 

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