As expected, the NHL and the players union reached an agreement with the IIHF on Friday morning to send players to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The NHL will take a break from Feb. 9 to Feb. 26. The Olympic tournament will be held Feb. 12-23.
Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, said in a statement, “The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our players and most importantly by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere.”
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards could be among the players selected by Team Canada. Goaltender Jonathan Quick and forward Dustin Brown could be picked by the United States. Forward Anze Kopitar figures to be named to the Slovenian team. Defenseman Slava Voynov could play for Russia.
The Czech Repblic and Sweden face off in the opening preliminary game Feb. 12, followed by Latvia and Switzerland. Canada faces Norway, the U.S. plays against Slovakia and Russia and Slovenia are matched against each other in their preliminary games scheduled for Feb. 13. The gold-medal game is Feb. 23.