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The IIHF is ‘keeping the door open’ for NHL participation in 2018 Olympics

Ice Hockey Gold Medal - Sweden v Canada

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: (l-R) Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban #76 of Canada pose with the gold medals won during the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Is there still a chance NHL players will be going to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea after all?

Just over a month ago, the NHL said ‘No’ to the Olympics, which led a number of star players to criticize the decision.

Apparently, based on a report Friday, there has been another development on that front.

More from NBC Sports’ OlympicTalk:

The IIHF said it is “exploring options” with the NHL Players’ Association and the IOC and still “keeping the door open” for NHL participation at the 2018 Olympics.

On Friday, a German reportquoted IIHF president Rene Fasel as saying ongoing talks to overturn the NHL’s decision not to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Games had a July deadline.

Fasel was speaking at the IIHF world championship co-hosted by France and Germany.

The IIHF later denied that talks were happening between the IIHF and the NHL. The IIHF did not confirm or deny the July deadline.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet later discussed the supposed prospects of the NHL participation in the Olympics -- this late in the soap opera. It doesn’t sound promising, to say the least.

“There’s been a rumor going around that the International Ice Hockey Federation will try to sit down with the NHL again and re-open the Olympic conversation. ‘Is this dead? Can we still find a way to make it work?’” said Friedman on Saturday.

“I’m told the NHL is saying, ‘No. There’s going to be no discussion about this. There’s no re-opener. We’ve made our decision. And that is our position.’ It’s final.”


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