Washington Capitals: NHL wisely plans to schedule break for Winter Olympics

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

We don’t know the Washington Capitals schedule yet, that is expected to be unveiled on Thursday. What we do know is that there will be a lengthy break for the Winter Olympics. Wonder if that means the NHL will let their players participate and represent their countries?

In a report from ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, sources told him that the 2021-22 regular season schedule includes a gap for a break for the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Olympic break is scheduled from February 5-22, 2022. However, there is a caveat that Olympic participation among NHL players isn’t guaranteed.

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The opening ceremonies will take place on Feb. 4, 2022. Preliminary round games for the men’s hockey tournament will take place around Feb. 9th. One interesting thing recent history shows is that during the years the NHL participated in the Olympics there was no All Star Game that season. That won’t be the case this upcoming season.

There will be an All Star Game in 2022 that will take place in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena at “the traditional midway point of the regular season” and will be the last on ice event held before the Olympic break. The NHL did not participate in the 2018 Winter games.

I would love to see the NHL participate in the Olympics the same reason Alex Ovechkin wants to, for a chance for Russia hockey to win Olympic gold. Ovechkin would add that to his growing list of accomplishments and follow in the footsteps of his mom Tatyana who won gold in basketball in 1976.

Ovechkin was recently asked in a Russian language interview by Pavel Lysenkov of Match TV about the NHL’s Olympic participation:

"“You know, I don’t even rack my brains on this topic now. I don’t look ahead at all. I am just starting the preparatory period for the season. What will be will be. I hope we go. I heard they said there are two options for the NHL schedule for the season. I think everything will be decided in the near future.”"

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It isn’t a done deal but it’s looking like the NHL will let players participate in the Olympics or the players will get a long vacation. A win-win but let’s hope for NHL Olympic participation.