Olympics Sweden’s Ice hockey dream within the fingers of home gamers with NHL gamers set to tug out

Ice Hockey – Euro Hockey Tour – Channel One Cup – Czech Republic v Sweden – CSKA Enviornment, Moscow, Russia – December 19, 2021 Sweden’s Linus Hultstrom with teammates REUTERS/Alexander Fedorov

STOCKHOLM, Dec 22 (Reuters) – With NHL gamers set to overlook the Beijing Winter Olympics resulting from COVID-19 considerations, the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) is making preparations to allow a robust staff of home-based gamers to chase their gold in one of many nation’s favorite sports activities.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that the American Nationwide Hockey League won’t ship its gamers to compete in Beijing because the extremely transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads globally. learn extra

Olympic champions in 1994 and 2006, the Swedes have gained three silver and 4 bronze medals over 21 earlier Olympics, and the home league would not intend to let the dearth of NHL gamers derail their ambitions in Beijing.

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“We’re ready for a scenario the place the NHL gamers do not participate within the Olympics. It has been a potential state of affairs for a while, and we’re ready,” Johan Hemline, head of hockey operations on the SHL, advised Reuters in an interview.

“In the course of the Olympics there are 34 SHL video games deliberate, and the vast majority of them will go forward as deliberate. My present view is that 10 or 15 of our matches shall be moved,” he continued.

Sweden is residence to some of the aggressive leagues exterior the NHL with many imported gamers, and it’s possible that Swedish golf equipment will find yourself having to launch them to the opposite 11 nations which are to participate within the Olympic match.

“All sporting administrators have an opportunity to maneuver matches once they suppose they’ll have extra gamers lacking than their opponent. We’re working with minor changes internally and the adjustments shall be made official in January, however it’s beneath management.”

The common season of the 14-team league runs from September to March, with playoffs in March and April, with all however two of the groups based mostly within the southern half of the nation.

The Swedish authorities introduced restrictions to attempt to gradual the unfold of the Omicron variant that may have an effect on followers attending video games within the coming weeks, however the league goes forward as regular.

“The pandemic is unpredictable. The gamers and our medical groups are ready, they use fast checks extra steadily now and the golf equipment have tips for easy methods to deal with any optimistic instances that will come up,” Hemlin mentioned.

“In any other case it is about testing various days to play and dealing with methods of speaking and making choices. I hope we’ll see and entertaining Olympic match, even when the NHL gamers cannot participate,” he added.

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Reporting by Philip O’Connor
Modifying by Christian Radnedge

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