Rene Fasel is preparing for the best, the worst, and everything in between.
TSN's Gord Miller - who on Friday hosted a panel featuring Fasel at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton - reports the IIHF president has told the IOC that there are four men's hockey options "on the table" for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
The first option: like from 1998 through 2014, NHL players participate in the men's hockey tournament.
The second: like the 2018 Olympics, only amateur/professional players with no contractual NHL affiliation are eligible to participate.
The third: Only under-23 players (presumably just those without an NHL contract) participate.
Fourth: No men's hockey.
Fasel's first option seems like a long shot right now. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his owners seem unwilling to shut down the season for an event being held overseas and is keen on the idea of transferring to the Summer Games.
"I don’t know that we want to go to China," Bettman said in February at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. "I think going to the Olympics is incredibly disruptive on a season."
He added, "I’ve asked the IOC, I said, 'Why don’t you put us in the summer?' You know, just for you history buffs, that the first participation of hockey in the Olympics was in 1920 in Antwerp in the Summer Games. We’d be happy to go in the summer. I’m sure the players would be thrilled to go in the summer."
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