The 2012-2013 NHL season isn’t the only issue hanging in the balance.
If the ongoing lockout were to wipe out the entire season, with no Collective Bargaining Agreement for the foreseeable future, Canada may not be able to send the usual array of top NHL talent to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Olympic participation of NHL players is an often forgotten part of the CBA talks.
“It gets messy for us here,” Nicholson said from Calgary Friday, as the NHL cancelled all November games on the schedule.
“If they ever cancelled the season, then we’d really have to look at what we might do,” Nicholson said. “That, to me, is the real trigger point.
“We’d have to have two options on the table,” Nicholson said. “Right now, we only have the one, the NHLers. We’ve been doing our work with (Executive Director) Steve Yzerman, that management group and we’re all ready to roll once the season starts .
“We haven’t really looked at option B, and wouldn’t plan on doing that until into the New Year.”
Plan B would be a Canadian entry in Sochi without Sidney Crosby and the best NHL players. Instead, the team would be comprised of amateurs and lesser pros, much as Canada used to piece together prior to the Nagano Olympics of 1998.
Nicholson doesn’t want to get into the business of identifying a drop dead date for a CBA deal where Sochi is concerned.
“Rene Fasel (IIHF president) has asked me a number of times, and I’ve always said, we don’t have a date,” Nicholson said. “We don’t want to have a date sitting there so it’s a target.”