NHLers to Olympics could be difficult: IIHF prez

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Even Rene Fasel admits luring NHL players to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be difficult.

Nevertheless, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation said Sunday that he is hopeful a deal can eventually be worked out, although the more pressing issue on the frontburner is finalizing details of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

“This time the Olympics will be another issue as the time zone will be an issue with Korea,” Fasel said. “We also know that 2022 will be in Asia – either in Kazakhstan or in China. I think China is favoured to win that race.

“To be honest, after five times participating with the best players in the Olympics, this time will be an even bigger challenge to get them there.

But as usual, from the players association, the players want to go.

“I’m confident they want to go.”

NHL owners may be a harder sell.

Try explaining the logic to them of shutting down the league for a couple of weeks for games at the Olympics halfway around the world that will take place in the middle of the night in North American time.