NHL to pull its players from Beijing Games: report

Omicron continues to wreak havoc across the sports world…

The National Hockey League has decided not to send its players to compete in the men's ice hockey tournament at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, according to ESPN Tuesday, over concerns of the highly transmissible COVID-19 variant…

The move is a reversal from last September when the league said it would pause its regular season so that the world's top players could compete in Beijing.

But there was a caveat…

The league would withdraw if COVID-19 disruptions forced games to be rescheduled during the Olympics window.

That scenario has begun looking increasingly likely in recent days with the NHL being forced to postpone 50 games in Canada and the U.S. after a growing number of players entered COVID protocols while Omicron tore through professional sports leagues with fully vaccinated players testing positive.

The NHL had until January 10 to withdraw from February's Olympics without financial penalty.

Countries will now have to quickly put a Plan B in place.

For Canada and the U.S., which would have sent teams stocked completely with NHL players, that will mean a top to bottom overhaul cobbling together a roster from other leagues.

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