After spending the week debating on will they or won’t they, they National Hockey League has ruled in favour of letting it’s players participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The joint decision was made after months of talks by the Olympics themselves, the League and the National Hockey League Players Association. It’s a good thing because some players were threatening to go even without the league’s blessing.
The Olympics, which are being held in Sochi, Russia, will feature a dozen nations competing for gold. These nations include Canada, The United States, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Austria, Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, Latvia, Switzerland and Sweden.
The NHL will shut down its season for two weeks in February to allow for the players to complete in the games. The stake is set high for Team Canada as they will be looking for a repeat as gold medal champions. If successful, they will become to the first nation to repeat as champs since the Soviet Union in 1988.
Another shock to the 2014 games is the first time competing of Team Slovenia. Slovenia is slated to be in Group A along Russia, Slovakia and the United States. They definitely have their work cut out for them. Team Austria will be competing in their first Winter Olympic games since 2002.
Now that the ruling has come down to allow for the players to participate in the Olympic Games, the National Hockey League should be releasing its 2013/2014 regular season schedule at some point later today.