© AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The Russian forward club of the National hockey League (NHL) “Pittsburgh” Evgeni Malkin did not lose hope to take part in the Olympic games in 2018. He stated this at a press conference.
31-year-old forward participated in three Olympic games: in Turin in 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.
“I think all players dream to play in the Olympics. And I am no exception. Join in the Pasha [Datsyuk], who said that hope dies last. Let’s hope,” said Malkin.
In early April, the NHL announced that it will suspend regular season in February of 2018 at the Olympic hockey tournament, while noting that the issue of individual players will be discussed separately. In late may, NHL Commissioner Gary Betmen said that none of the players of the League will not go for the Games in 2018.
According to Malkin, the NHL players need to put pressure on the leadership of the League in this matter .
“Now little information, because the NHL is on vacation, but the latest rumors from overseas have not been the most positive for the players, but hope dies last. Closer to the start of the new season, I think there will be more accurate information, hopefully, will announce the final decision. I think the players will be more disturbance, and to encourage them to take on more initiative, put pressure on the League, pushing [the issue involved in the Olympics],” said Malkin.
The question of how he perceives the situation, if the decision of the NHL to change will fail, Malkin said: “It will be a huge blow, one dream will be less. Not much time remains to win the Olympic gold. You do not want to miss the Olympics at this stage in your career when there is still power, yet there is little independent, but there’s still time”.
According to Malkin, a significant role in negotiations with the NHL can play his teammate Sidney Crosby, twice with team Canada winning Olympic gold. “Crosby is the face of the League, it a listen – and club owners, and Gary Betmen (NHL Commissioner). I hope that he is eager to play in the Olympics, win it for team Canada for the third time. I want to come and talk to all the players,” said hockey player.
The Russian forward “Washington” Alexander Ovechkin shortly after the NHL announced that regular season League will not be suspended during the Games in 2018, said that going to the Olympics anyway. To the question why he does not say so big words, Malkin responded: “I’m not going to throw big statements, I will make every effort to go to the Olympics, but if there is a lifetime disqualification, or cancellation of the contract, then I will think what to do. And now something to say I would not like”.
NHL players participated in the Olympics since 1998, when the League made a special pause for the duration of the tournament. During this time, the Games took part 706 NHL players.
Olympics 2018 will be held in Pyeongchang (South Korea) from 9 to 25 February.
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