Ovechkin still plans to play in Pyeongchang

"The ice hockey tournament at the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 will nonetheless be a very exciting one, because the players from all the other professional ice hockey leagues and their athletes will participate, and will be very much welcomed by their Olympic teams".

Several players believe the NHL is bluffing about its decision not to participate in the Games, even though the league said there will be no new negotiations with Olympic officials. Alex Ovechkin, the Russian superstar and Washington Capitals captain, has said he's going to the Olympics.

"Because it's my country".

"I want to play in the Olympics", Landeskog said.

"Any sort of inconvenience the Olympics may cause to next season's schedule is a small price to pay compared to the opportunity to showcase our game and our greatest players on this enormous global stage", the players' association said.

The Olympics will still feature hockey, but the roster will be made up of other players.

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The NHL announced its decision 24 hours earlier, ending its statement with, "We now consider the matter officially closed".

Monday the league tried to shut down rumors that something might be in the works that would allow NHL players to attend the Olympics and represent their countries. It's hard to envision the NHL passing up China, but maybe equally as unlikely is the International Olympic Committee actually moving ahead for two Olympics without the best product hockey has to offer. Some, like Russia's Alex Ovechkin, have vowed to play in the Games regardless of what their clubs think.

"I guess it's not over until the Olympics start and we're not there", Callahan.

The world hockey body's secretary general, Horst Lichtner, was briefing Winter Games federations on Tuesday in a previously scheduled meeting at an Olympic sports conference in Aarhus, Denmark.

"That would be kind of weird to see some guys leaving, and it's only going to be a few players, too", Hornqvist said.

The NHL's decision not to release players for next year's Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea comes as a surprise to some of the Canadian players at the women's world hockey championship.

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With both the 2018 and the 2022 Winter Games in Asia and the National Hockey League making efforts to tap into that region's lucrative market, the logic behind the decision was lost on Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who plays for the New York Rangers.

Unlike the Olympics, the World Cup is put on by the National Hockey League and the players' association, who share the revenue.

That reverses the league's practice since the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, pausing the schedule to allow its players to represent their nations in a quest for gold. "You realize how lucky I was to play in those two", Callahan said. And the NHLPA (NHL Players' Association) has now publicly confirmed that it has no interest or intention of engaging in any discussion that might make Olympic participation more attractive to the clubs.

The NHLPA, meanwhile, said the players are "extraordinarily disappointed and adamantly disagree" with the NHL's decision, calling it "shortsighted".

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith did not say what his decision would be if the NHL's stance did not change.

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