Photo: Gerry Broome Associated Press
The president of the international Federation of ice hockey, René Fasel
The dust settled on the decision of the national hockey League does not send its skaters to the next winter olympics to Pyeongchang in February. Now, the president of the international Federation of hockey (IIHF), Rene Fasel, has launched his campaign of lobbyists so that the best hockey players in the world are of the winter olympic Games of 2022, in Beijing.
“To see is to fight the best at the Olympics, in Beijing, this is the mission that I am given. I want that to happen. The problem is money, said Fasel on Thursday, during a press conference on the sidelines of the upcoming world junior hockey Championships in Buffalo
“I have to do it. I don’t have the choice. For hockey fans, for our sport, I must do it. We need to find the money, no matter how. “
Fasel believes that this issue will be decided at the time of renewal of the collective agreement between the players Association and the NHL. The collective agreement with the NHL expires in 2022, but may be renegotiated in 2020. The two parties shall meet in September 2020.
“The answer lies there. At which point the players Association will-t-she of the pressure ? asked Fasel. In the end, it is a matter for these two parties. The results of their discussions and will decide on the participation of the [NHL players] in the olympic Games of 2022. “
Fasel added that in the end, it is up to the players of the NHL to fight to participate in the olympic games. “The solution is in their hands. Because, without the players, what can we do ? If they want to come to Games, they need to say. “
The executive director of the NHLPA, Don Fehr, was to attend the two semi-finals of the World junior Thursday. Although Fasel prévît discuss with Fehr during those two games, he stated that this kind of informal meetings is rarely productive.
“[NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman, Don Fehr : these guys do not discuss the negotiations if they do not have their team with them, noted Fasel. I can’t speak with Don without that Gary be present. Sometimes, it is interesting between these two parties. “
There are two key issues in this folder.
First, the costs of insurance and transportation to the national teams, that Fasel estimated to be approximately US $15 million. Secondly, the loss of income of the professional leagues that will lend their players.
“The leagues in Europe — in Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia must cease their activities. Stop the activities of a league is never easy, recognized Fasel. Can you imagine what it is for the NHL ? It may be that some people within the international olympic Committee does not understand what it means, temporarily stop a league, especially the NHL. Maybe they don’t care ? “
If the NHL is not able to include the participation of his players in their next collective agreement, Fasel suggested that the IIHF is trying to send the best players under 23 years of age, such as the fact the football in the summer Games.