NHL's Olympic future to be discussed Friday in NYC

The ongoing debate about the NHL and the Olympics will be center stage Friday in New York City, when all four parties meet.

Sources confirm that International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel are scheduled to meet with the NHL and NHL Players' Association.

No resolution is necessarily expected Friday, but there will be a frank discussion of where things stand, according to one source.

Last weekend, the NHL once again downplayed its interest in going to the Games in South Korea next February. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Olympic update at the Board of Governors meeting in Los Angeles lasted 10 seconds.

"The biggest hurdle is I think there's concern among the teams about the ongoing disruption to the season, about a compressed schedule and a whole host of other things," Bettman said at a news conference Saturday in L.A.

"When the IOC said, 'You know what? We don't think it's worth it, we're not going to pay,' I think it opened a whole can of worms."

This squabble began more than a year ago, when the IOC indicated it would no longer pay for NHL players' travel costs and contract insurance for the Olympics.

The IIHF has since cobbled together the money to cover those costs, Fasel reiterated last weekend.

"Yes, we worked really hard and I would like to thank all our member federations," Fasel told ESPN.com in confirming the money was there.

During All-Star Weekend, players spoke up about their interest in wanting to remain a part of the Olympics.

"Quite frankly, to turn on the Olympics next year and watch the hockey teams and the players representing their country -- if it's not the best in the world, I don't know, I feel like we're misrepresenting our sport on a pretty huge scale, on a pretty huge level," said Chicago Blackhawks captain and two-time Olympic gold medalist Jonathan Toews.

"A lot of the talk has been it's just the players that are pushing for it, the players that are interested and want to go. I think the players do want to go, but I think it should be of interest to the players and the league."

NHL players have participated in the Olympics since 1998 in Nagano, Japan.
Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.