International hockey chief tells AP he’ll work tirelessly to get NHL players to next Olympics

SOCHI, Russia – International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel says he will do everything he can to convince the NHL and its players to participate in the 2018 Olympics.

Ultimately, though, he acknowledges it will be up to them.

Fasel told The Associated Press on Tuesday he’s looking forward to meeting with league and union officials soon.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is scheduled to arrive in Russia next week to witness what might be the last Olympics with NHL players.

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The league and players’ association haven’t committed to going to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

Fasel says there’s no chance hockey could be moved to the Summer Games—to avoid interrupting NHL seasons—and he’s not in favour of a World Cup of Hockey replacing best-on-best hockey at the Olympics.