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Minor leaguers on NHL contracts can’t go to Olympics

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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If you’ve got an NHL deal, you’re not going to the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

That’s what deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press on Monday, explaining that players signed to two-way contracts -- or loaned to minor league affiliates by their clubs -- wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the Olympics.

This development comes roughly three weeks after American Hockey League president David Andrews confirmed that players on AHL-only deals would be able to participate. The league’s 30 member clubs were informed of the decision in mid-June.

In a related development on Monday, the hockey community got another look at what Olympic rosters might look like as Canada fell 3-2 to Russia today at the 2017 Sochi Hockey Open, a tournament that’s doubling as a evaluation period for both respective national teams.

The Canadian team featured a number of ex-NHLers plying their trade in Europe: Gilbert Brule, Mason Raymond, Daniel Paille and Max Talbot among them.