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Is the NHL - 2018 Olympics discussion over? Depends on who you ask

Around the Games: Day 11 - 2014 Winter Olympic Games

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: (L-R) Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Associatio Donald Fehr, International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel and National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman speak during a press conference on day eleven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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One common ploy in negotiations - and boy, the NHL and NHLPA sure seem to love negotiations - is to pretend to walk away from the table to try to put pressure on the other side.

More than a few people probably hope that the discussion really isn’t over regarding sending NHL players to the 2018 Winter Olympics, so is there room for movement?

Well ... maybe it depends.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsnet 590’s Prime Time Sports, Gary Bettman provided a lot of gloom and doom.

“We know clubs don’t want to go and we’re not looking to negotiate,” Bettman said at one point.

The overriding theme of Bettman’s argument was that the NHL is the only sports league that interrupts its season to participate in the Olympics, and that owners have “had enough” of the disruption to regular seasons.

There are plenty of other interesting nuggets from that discussion. For one thing, Bettman said he’d be “thrilled” by the idea of moving hockey to the Summer Olympics, thus seemingly getting around the more disruptive aspects of such participation.

The players may disagree even on that note, however:

Another interesting wrinkle? The players/NHLPA might’ve dropped the ball on the Olympics ... or maybe they don’t care as much as they lead on.

Wow. The interview is worth listening to, though it will provide little consolation if you’re unhappy about players not being sent to the Olympics.

Speaking of which, NHLPA head Donald Fehr does seem to hope that maybe the discussion could book back up, after all.

Bettman doesn’t paint a rosy picture, but for all we know, maybe something could work out?

(Probably not, but still.)