IIHF eager to get NHL players to next Olympics

Penguins Chris Kunitz, left, and Sidney Crosby, centre, skated on a line with Kings sniper Jeff Carter at day one of Team Canada practice. (Bruce Bennett/Getty)

SOCHI, Russia — International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel says he will do everything he can to convince the NHL and its players to participate in the 2018 Olympics.

Ultimately, though, he acknowledges it will be up to them.

Fasel told The Associated Press on Tuesday he’s looking forward to meeting with league and union officials soon.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is scheduled to arrive in Russia next week to witness what might be the last Olympics with NHL players.

The league and players’ association haven’t committed to going to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

Fasel says there’s no chance hockey could be moved to the Summer Games — to avoid interrupting NHL seasons — and he’s not in favour of a World Cup of Hockey replacing best-on-best hockey at the Olympics.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.