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NHL gives itself a pat on the back for performance of players at Vancouver Olympics

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The NHL gave itself a pat on the back Monday in the wake of a thrilling Olympic overtime final.

"The 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver served as the latest affirmation that the quality of our play - and our players - is the finest in the world," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "We send our Olympians back to their NHL teams with our congratulations, appreciation and thanks for having represented their NHL teams, their league and their fans with such distinction.

"As every member of the gold and silver medal teams plays for an NHL club, the speed and skill of our outstanding athletes and our game remains on display as the excitement of our season resumes."

Canada defeated the U.S. 3-2 in an overtime thriller.

Afterwards, both coaches endorsed the NHL continuing its participation in the Games.

The Winter Games take place next in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

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