Representatives of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. ended two days of meetings about NHL players’ participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with cordial comments and an understanding that they will talk again next week.
IIHF President Rene Fasel and the organization’s general secretary, Horst Lichtner, were in New York Thursday and Friday to discuss how the sides might resolve the issues that have divided them. The NHL and the union have been critical of policies that gave them little access to its players during the Games. In addition, the NHL and its players receive no financial benefits from players’ participation and the league has sought a share of revenues from such sources as video and photo images.
Fasel said last week that the IIHF would like a decision to be made by May for marketing and planning purposes.
NHL players have participated in the last four Winter Games, but the league considers the long distance to the Russian city of Sochi and the fact that games would not be televised live during prime-time hours in North America to be drawbacks that would limit the potential gains of shutting down the league for two-plus weeks next February to let players represent their homelands.