Oilers CEO Nicholson on Olympics: IOC ‘should have stepped up’

Bob Nicholson joined Scott Oake and Louie DeBrusk on After Hours to discuss the Olympics, the Oilers success this season, and what receiving the Order of Hockey in Canada meant to him.

Edmonton Oilers chief executive officer Bob Nicholson is disappointed that the NHL won’t be sending its players to the 2018 Olympics.

Nicholson spent 16 years as the president and CEO of Hockey Canada, a tenure that oversaw four Winter Olympics, before joining Edmonton’s front office in April of 2015.

He told Scott Oake and Louie DeBrusk on Hockey Night in Canada‘s After Hours that if the International Olympic Committee wanted NHLers to participate in the Games, they should have made more of an effort in negotiations with Gary Bettman.

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“Really, I think the IOC should have stepped up,” said Nicholson. “It’s their event, they want NHL players there, and really I think it’s (up to) them to make that move to come forward.”

There’s theoretically still time for something to be offered that would appease the NHL into participating in PyeongChang 2018. The league has reportedly been after the rights to use video from the Games, and has offered the players the opportunity to go should they extend the current CBA another three years.

It doesn’t look as though either of those scenarios is likely to come through.

“Right now I think the line is really drawn in the sand,” said Nicholson. “But something could happen. I think if the IOC came forward with a proposal or the NHLPA, but I think Gary has really put his line in the sand and said that the NHL needs something more than it’s had.

“And there just hasn’t been any discussions or any other great opportunities to bring something forward to the National Hockey League.”

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