NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
Photo credit: LA Times

RUMOUR: The Major Reason for Gary Bettman's Press Conference Has Emerged

Published February 2, 2024 at 9:20

As we learned Wednesday morning, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the Executive Director of the NHL Players' Association, Marty Walsh, will meet the media at 1:30 PM on Friday during a press conference that promises to be very interesting.

Indeed, according to information reported by Renaud Lavoie, Gary Bettman could announce the holding of a new international tournament that would involve the four best nations, namely Canada, the United States, Finland, and Sweden. He also added that this competition would take place in 2025 and could be presented at the Bell Centre or the TD Garden.

This is interesting news! Fans have been waiting for a long time to see the world's best athletes compete against each other in a tournament. After all, the last time NHL players participated in a similar competition was in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, nearly 10 years ago.

However, while Renaud Lavoie is convinced that the National Hockey League is about to launch a new tournament, the information gathered by Marc-Antoine Godin and Alexandre Gascon is different, but equally exciting.

Indeed, journalists at Radio-Canada have indicated that, according to their sources, the NHL, the NHLPA, and the IIHF are in very advanced discussions to ensure the participation of Bettman circuit players at the next Olympic Games to be held in Italy in 2026. Godin and Gascon even added that the three parties potentially negotiated throughout the night from Thursday to Friday to conclude an agreement.

«The National Hockey League, in concert with the International Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL Players' Association, could announce as early as Friday an agreement confirming the presence of its players at the 2026 Olympics in Milan-Cortina.

According to a source well informed on the matter who revealed to Radio-Canada Sports, the three parties were going to negotiate Thursday evening and extend discussions into the night if necessary in the hope of reaching an agreement.» - Via Radio-Canada

This would be excellent news for hockey fans, who have lost a lot of interest in the Olympics since NHL players were banned from participating. We are talking about a whole generation that has not yet had the chance to represent their country in the most prestigious competition.

Indeed, players like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, Artemi Panarin, Mikko Rantanen, Jack Hughes, Cale Makar, Mitch Marner, Elias Pettersson, William Nylander, Quinn Hughes, Jack Eichel, Sebastian Aho, Clayton Keller, Brady Tkachuk, Matthew Tkachuk, Moritz Seider, and Tim Stützle have never participated in such a major tournament.

It's a huge disappointment to see that these talented players have never had the opportunity to represent their country!

Now it remains to be seen whether Renaud Lavoie or Marc-Antoine Godin and Alexandre Gascon are correct, but expect NHL leaders to make an announcement that will greatly please hockey fans.

Such an announcement would come at a very good time, given all the negative media coverage currently associated with the scandal related to the Canadian edition of the 2018 World Junior Championship.

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RUMOUR: The Major Reason for Gary Bettman's Press Conference Has Emerged

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