AP source: NHL to withdraw from Olympics after COVID surge

NHL Olympic Agreement Hockey
Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 21, 2021

NHL players will not take part in the Winter Olympics after all. A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that the league will withdraw from the Beijing Olympics after its regular-season schedule was disrupted by coronavirus outbreaks.

The news came after the season was paused Monday after 11 teams reported COVID outbreaks.

Over the past week, more than 40 games have been postponed because of positive COVID-19 test results among players.

According to ESPN, the league is expected to announce the news formally within the next 24 hours.

Upon agreeing last year to Olympic participation, the NHL reserved the right to withdraw if pandemic conditions worsened.

The decision means a second consecutive Olympics without NHL players after participating five times from 1998 to 2014.

ESPN reported that postponed games would be rescheduled from Feb. 6-22.

The NHL All-Star Game is still scheduled for Feb. 5.

According to the Associated Press, Russia becomes the favorite to win the gold.

They won gold at the Pyeongchang Games.