NHL players to take part in 2014 Olympics
Friday, 07.19.2013 / 12:15 PM / 2014 Olympics
By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer
Canadian superstar Sidney Crosby again should be among a legion of NHL players with the chance to become the next Olympic hero.
The NHL announced Friday that the League will pause the 2013-14 regular-season schedule for roughly two weeks in February so the League's players can participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, Russia. The decision to once again send NHL players to the Olympics was a joint agreement between the League and the National Hockey League Players' Association.
The dozen nations competing for gold in Sochi are Russia, Slovakia, the United States, Slovenia, Finland, Canada, Norway, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia. NHL players should have a presence on each of the 12 teams.
Slovenia is participating in its first Olympic men's hockey tournament after failing to qualify for the past six. Austria is back in the tournament for the first time since 2002, while Belarus and Germany, which took part in the 20110 tournament, did not qualify for the 2014 event.
For Crosby and Canada, it will be an opportunity to become the first country since the Soviet Union in 1988 to repeat as Olympic champion. The Unified Team, which comprised Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Armenia, also won gold in 1992.
Schedule and groups here.