Hockey Canada Says Disappointed, But Supports NHL Decision To Skip Olympics

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd December, 2021) Hockey Canada expressed disappointment over the National Hockey League's decision to skip the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, but said it supports this measure due to COVID-19 uncertainty.

"Hockey Canada recognizes the amount of deliberation and consideration the NHL and NHLPA (National Hockey League Players' Association) put into the decision to not participate in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, and we understand and support that decision given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic," Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney and its President and chief operating officer Scott Smith said in a statement.

NHL and NHLPA announced a joint decision not to go to Beijing this winter due to COVID-19 concerns and the need to organize dozens of NHL regular season games, which had been postponed because of the pandemic.

"While we are disappointed that we will not be able to build a team of the best Canadian NHL players from across the country for the first time since 2014, we know hockey fans from coast-to-coast-to-coast are equally disappointed that they will not be able to watch their favorite NHL players compete for gold at the Olympics," Renney and Smith said.

They also expressed confidence that Canadians across the country will support the national team during the Games in February. "We look forward to working with our hockey operations staff to assemble a group that gives us the best possible chance to bring home a gold medal," they said.