American Hockey League To Allow Players Under Contract To Attend 2018 Olympics
According to an AP report, the American Hockey League (AHL) will be letting their players attend the 2018 winter Olympics.
David Andrews, the CEO and President of the league confirmed on Wednesday that teams were informed they could loan players on AHL contracts to national teams.
The AHL league office sent a memo to its 30 clubs stating that they can loan players for the Olympics from February 5th to the 26th. This is big news with the NHL barring its players to go for the first time since 1994. One thing that has been held up is the concept of allowing players assigned to the AHL or ones on one or two-way NHL contracts. According to the AHL, nothing has been made of these players yet.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the league had told its 31 teams that AHL players could be loaned to play in the Olympics. It was an AHL memo sent at the direction of that league’s board of governors without any sort of NHL approval.
“I would guess we’re going to lose a fair number of players,” Andrews said in April. “Not just to Canada and the U.S., but we’re going to lose some players to other teams, as well. But we’re used to that. Every team in our league has usually got two or three guys who are on recalls to the NHL, so it’s not going to really change our competitive integrity or anything else.”
The U.S. and Canada are expected to rely on players in European leagues and college and junior hockey to fill out Olympic rosters. That being said, there are certain NHL players like Alexander Ovechkin who will ignore the NHL policy and play for his home country.