NHL Rumors: 2021-22 Schedule to Have Winter Olympics Break; Player Participation TBD

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 19, 2021

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JULY 07: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman presents the Conn Smythe Trophy after the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 victory in Game Five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to win the series four games to one against the Montreal Canadiens at Amalie Arena on July 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

The 2021-22 NHL schedule will reportedly feature a break to accommodate players who want to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN reported the break will take place from Feb. 5 to Feb. 22. There is, however, no guarantee the NHL will make players available for the Winter Games, which are set to take place in Beijing.

Players did not participate in the 2018 Winter Games. The NHL reached an agreement for participation in 2022 and 2026 as part of the collective bargaining agreement, but the league is yet to come to terms with the International Olympic Committee.

"We negotiated in good faith with the Players' Association last summer," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in June. "We agreed that if the conditions were right and we could reach an agreement on all the material issues, that we would commit and support going to the Olympics. That remains our position."

Wyshynski reported a deal could be struck later this month. 

The COVID-19 pandemic may also play a factor in the NHL coming to an agreement. The Delta variant has led to an uptick in COVID cases worldwide and caused the 2021 Summer Games to bar fan attendance.