PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The NHL is not going to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The league announced its decision Monday afternoon, saying the matter was “officially closed.”
The league says no meaningful dialogue had materialized in talks with the NHLPA, International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation. The league wanted to close the matter before the playoffs, which begin April 13.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said the decision was “disappointing.”
“It’s disappointing, it was a great experience, I think a lot of guys want to be a part of it,” Crosby said. “I think when you hear about the negotiations and things like that, I really thought something was going to be able to get worked out. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”
Team owners have complained that stopping the NHL season for three weeks every four years wasn’t worth it.
NHL players had participated in the previous five Olympics dating to 1998. Many players expressed a strong desire to go, and Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has said he plans to go regardless of NHL participation.
As for Crosby, he isn’t thinking that far ahead yet.
“I haven’t even thought that far to be honest. It’s a difficult situation to be in there’s no doubt. I know some guys have been vocal about going regardless, but I’m not sure if I’m thinking quite that far ahead yet,” he said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)