The NHL produces some of the best hockey players in the world, so it would make sense to see these athletes perform during one of biggest athletic competitions: the Olympics. Unfortunately NHL players are not participating in the 2022 Winter Games.
But why aren't they? Well, they were not allowed to go.
Why the NHL did not send players the 2022 Winter Olympics
The league released a statement on Dec. 22 stating COVID-19 would prevent the NHL from sending players to Beijing.
"The National Hockey League respects and admires the desire of NHL Players to represent their countries and participate in a ‘best on best’ tournament. Accordingly, we have waited as long as possible to make this decision while exploring every available option to enable our Players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wrote in the release.
"Unfortunately, given the profound disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events -- 50 games already have been postponed through Dec. 23 -- Olympic participation is no longer feasible," Bettman added.
When's the last time NHL players missed the Winter Games?
The 2022 Olympics marks the second-straight Winter Games that didn't include the best players in the world competing in men’s ice hockey. In 2018, the NHL did not send players to PyeongChang due to travel costs and scheduling issues.
Ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games concludes on Feb. 20.