In 1980, the United States made a historic run for the gold medal in hockey with the game that became known as the “Miracle on Ice”.

When the Winter Olympic games take over the world in Beijing, China in February 2022, there will be no chance for a repeat of the “Miracle on Ice”.  The National Hockey League has announced that none of their players will be allowed to be a part of the 2022 Winter Olympic games.

The NHL had originally scheduled a break from February six to 22 in order to field an Olympic hockey team.  However, a recent outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has forced the NHL to postpone a total of 50 games…and counting.  On December 22, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the winter Olympic break will now be used to make up all of the games that have been put on hold as several teams have been shut down and games were postponed.  Bettman told the teams, “given the profound disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events … Olympic participation is no longer feasible.  Our focus and goal have been and must remain to responsibly and safely complete the entirety of the NHL regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs in a timely manner.”

NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr also spoke on the inability to appear in the Olympics saying, “there was a clear path to Beijing before COVID-19 intervened, the Olympic break is now needed to make up games.”

The news was very disappointing for many of the players who fought to have the right to play in the Olympics as a part of their collective bargaining deal; especially those players who were looking at their last chance to play in an Olympics.

Olympic committees must now turn to a “plan B” with less than two months before the Olympic games are scheduled to open”.  The United States and Canada can still field Olympic teams but will have to look at other sources like college players, amateurs, and European players.

The NHL has now turned their focus to completing a regular season of 82 games – something that did not happen last year.  Currently the regular season is scheduled to conclude in April with the playoffs running into June.