Bruins

Jacobs on NHL in 2018 Olympics: ‘I don’t think it’s gonna happen’

Jacobs on NHL in 2018 Olympics: ‘I don’t think it’s gonna happen’

BOSTON – If the word from the Chairman of the NHL’s Board of Governors is any indication, then any notion of the NHL players participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea is truly a dead proposition.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said at the B’s end-of-the-season presser on Tuesday morning that he didn’t foresee any 11th-hour change in joint discussions between the NHL, the NHLPA and the International Olympic Committee and the IIHF.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a month ago that his league’s players weren’t participating in the Pyeongchang Olympics next season and that the NHL was foraging ahead with a regular-season schedule that didn’t include a three-week in-season break for the Winter Games.

Jacobs echoed that sentiment citing the hardships on the league, and the lack of real visibility that the games would provide giving their setting half-way across the world.

“I don’t think it’s gonna happen…no,” said Jacobs. “When you stop and think about if we should stop and take those weeks out of our season, turn [the regular season] off, continue to depend on these players to perform for us when they get back, if they get back in good condition…I continue to say they should do what they did with basketball and play in the summer.

“You can go to the Summer Olympics just as easily, but they won’t embrace it. So it is what it is. Also, Korea doesn’t really help this situation at all for them. It’s time zones are so totally different. If you want to watch it here at 2 or 3 in the morning then okay, but I think the four people watching it don’t justify the reason for [NHL participation].”

It really is too bad given how immensely successful the NHL’s participation in the Olympics Games has been since they began participating in the tournament back in 1998.

There still may be time given that the NHL’s participation in the 2014 Olympics wasn’t finalized until the summer months in the last Olympic cycle. Clearly, the players have voiced their opinion about preferring to represent their home countries in the tournament. But it sure sounds like the hawk contingent within NHL ownership isn’t budging on the issue barring some awfully big concessions from the IOC and IIHF that don’t seem likely to be coming.

NHL Power Rankings: Supposed Atlantic Division powers struggling early

NHL Power Rankings: Supposed Atlantic Division powers struggling early

A season ago, the Atlantic Division featured three of the best teams in hockey, at least during the regular season: the Lightning, Bruins, and Maple Leafs.

But while the Bruins have shaken off a potential Stanley Cup Final hangover to pace the division this season, Tampa and Toronto have struggled out of the gate.

Neither team is above .500, and both find themselves out of the playoff picture through a quarter of the season.

While it's way too soon to tell if their struggles will continue, it's opened the door for some unexpected teams to make some waves in the standings.

Click here for Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings.>>>>

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Injured Bruins star Patrice Bergeron 'progressing well' with Sabres looming

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USA TODAY Sports

Injured Bruins star Patrice Bergeron 'progressing well' with Sabres looming

Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has missed the last couple of games with a lower body injury, but he continues to track for a return very soon.

The 34-year-old center isn’t confirmed to suit up for Thursday night’s big divisional game against the Buffalo Sabres, but he skated during a lightly attended practice on Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena with all signs pointing toward him playing.

But he’s “pretty close” according to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, which he also was on Tuesday before ultimately sitting out a second straight game after tweaking a lower body issue in the weekend win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Both Bergeron and Torey Krug skated the morning after Boston pulled out a 5-1 road win over the New Jersey Devils, but Krug isn’t expected to return from his injury until the weekend. Bergeron was scratched from Tuesday night’s game in Jersey after he didn’t suit up for warm-ups, but he’s skated two days in a row.

“I’m feeling better. It’s progressing well. Today was a pretty good skate, so I’m feeling good,” said Bergeron, who has eight goals and 19 points in 19 games played this season after a slow ramp-up in training camp following groin issues that dogged him for most of the summer. “It’s a minor issue, but we want to make sure it doesn’t linger for too long. So, we’re being cautious and making sure it’s 100 percent before I get back out there.”

The Bruins did well in Bergeron’s absence on Tuesday with David Krejci racking up two assists and a plus-3 rating while centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and Charlie Coyle ably stepping in for Bergeron at the bumper position on the top power play unit.

HAGGERTY: Ranking the NHL's Top 10 right wings>>>>>

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