The NHL’s participation in the Olympics is jeopardised due to quarantine issues. The prospect of being confined for up to five weeks in China following a positive COVID-19 test is “unsettling,” according to NHL MVP Connor McDavid, as the NHL’s participation in the 2022 Winter Games remains uncertain.
The Edmonton captain, one of three players already nominated to Canada’s provisional Olympic squad, addressed Tuesday as the number of coronarivus cases and postponements in the league continues to grow.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a very fluid scenario,” McDavid said before Edmonton’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. There hasn’t been a lot of information released, and then there’s the three-to-five week stuff… it’s been going about. It’s obviously disconcerting if that’s the situation when you walk over there. ”
The NHL opted out of the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, but committed to Beijing as part of an extension of the existing collective bargaining agreement agreed with the NHL Players’ Association. Commissioner Gary Bettman stated as late as last week that the plan intended to proceed, but the NHL has until Jan. 10 to cancel the arrangement without financial penalty if COVID-19 creates significant disruption to its season.
According to The Canadian Press, McDavid says, “I’m still a person who wants to go play in the Olympics.”
“However, we also want to ensure that it is safe for everyone.” For all athletes, not just hockey players.”
According to the International Olympic Committee, an athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 in China must provide two negative findings 24 hours apart. If they are unable to do so, the quarantine period may extend three to five weeks.
Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who was nominated as a provisional member of the Canadian squad alongside McDavid and Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, said he was unsure if he would travel to China due to the possibility of being separated from his family for an extended period of time. Goaltender Robin Lehner of the Golden Knights, a Swede, has already said that he would not travel.
A meeting of medical specialists from the league and the players’ union has been arranged for later this week to evaluate COVID-19 guidelines. Except for Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings, all NHL players are thought to be completely vaccinated, but the league is now merely suggesting booster doses.
When asked if the rise of positive tests and postponements reminded him of March 2020,0 when the sports world and much of society came to a standstill, Calgary general manager Brad Treliving didn’t go quite that far.
“I don’t believe anything will feel that way,” he stated. “That was a chilly slap to the face.”
From 1998 through 2014, the NHL sent players to every Olympic Games before declining to send players three years ago. For a variety of reasons, including the disturbance to the league calendar, owners have long been ambivalent about the Olympics.