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Duffer’s Dabbles: Looks Like NHLers To The Olympics Is Happening



NHLers are almost certain to be playing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

There are a couple of solid indicatations that NHL players will be skating in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. First of all, the conducting of the final round of Olympic qualifying tournaments was taking place on three fronts in Europe. Several NHL players suited up for their countries over the weekend. That list included some top players. Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia) played. So did Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets (Denmark) and Minnesota Wild 2020 first-round pick Marco Rossi (Austria).

The IIHF supplied these players with extensive insurance coverage, including COVID-19 insurance. That was one of the sticking points that was holding up confirmation of NHLPA participating in the Beijing Games.

Former Detroit Red Wings forwards Frans Nielsen (Denmark) and Tomas Jurco (Slovakia) helped their countries qualify for Beijing. Both are currently without NHL employment for the 2021-22 season, Lativa also grabbed one of the two spots. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger captained the Latvian squad.

Nielsen set up Ehlers for the clinching goal in 2-0 win over Norway that is sending the Danes to the Olympic Games for the first time since the country joined the IIHF in 1946.

Big Boys Are Going

This was just the tip of the iceberg. Hockey Wanderlüst, the international hockey newsletter, after consulting sources close to the National Hockey League, is reporting that the NHL to the Olympics is a foregone conclusion. Barring a remarkably insane Covid re-outbreak, the big boys are going. Final plans are being put in place as we speak. Ken Yaffe provides the details in his Sunday column.

Note: Yaffe worked at the league for two decades, for most of which he ran the international department.

Sid And Nate Together Again: The pride of Coal Harbour, Nova Scotia, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, have combined to film another of their quirky ads for Tim Hortons that will hit the airwaves in time for hockey season. That they’re both wearing Team Canada jerseys in the ad only adds to the Olympic intrigue.

Boston: Former Bruins star Marc Savard is the new head coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. One of Savard’s assistants will be ex-NHL defenseman Andy Delmore. He spent the 2009-10 season with Detroit’s AHL farm club in Grand Rapids.