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Olympic officials, NHL to meet about Sochi Games

Feb 14, 2013, 10:03 AM EST

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Olympics and NHL officials are meeting in New York Thursday and Friday to finally discuss the league’s participation in the Sochi Games next February.

Groups including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA director Donald Fehr, and IIHF President Rene Fassel will meet to discuss the NHL’s willingness take a two week break next year so its players can participate in the the Olympics.

Bettman already stated his issues with the NHL’s involvement in 2010, when he said: “It costs us money; it disrupts our season… We must basically hand over control of our most important asset, our players.” But last week, Fassel said that Bettman “has no other choice — he has to come to Sochi.”

The players, especially Russian stars Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, are making a strong push for playing, but apparently the NHL and NHLPA are looking for a deal that includes better access to players, use of images and video, and better accommodations and tickets for the NHL.

Or “basically being treated as if it was a major sponsor of the Olympics,” as TSN’s Bob McKenzie explained last week. He also called the player’s involvement “all but a foregone conclusion.”

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