In a recent interview, Rene Fasel, the head of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said that he is “more than sixty percent” sure that players from the NHL will not be attending the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. Everyone must be wondering, why? Why won’t the NHL allow their players to attend the world-famous Olympic Games and have a chance to win the coveted gold medal for their respective countries? Why can’t they participate in the spirit and unity of the Games? The NHL has a slew of excuses. Travelling to the Olympics forces a league stoppage of three weeks or more. Injuries and fatigue due to playing at the Olympics can hurt the prospects of players and teams when the NHL season resumes. NHL teams can’t make money for the time the Olympics are going on. However, despite these difficulties, the NHL has managed to send its players to the Games every year since 1998. Then why won’t they so the same this year? Because there are new problems, the most important one stemming from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC previously covered the costs of NHLers traveling to the Olympics, but this year declared they would be unable to provide the full sum, expected to be $10 million. They do not have unlimited cash funds, and besides, paying for the NHL players to come to Pyeongchang would lead other professional athletes to demand the same, resulting in a financial disaster for the IOC. On the other end, the NHL is unwilling to pay up, and the IIHF’s budget is not enough to cover the expenses. So what options are available? The NHL could pay up, although this outcome is highly unlikely as this will be ‘wasted’ money for the League. Some players have suggested participating in the Games regardless of whether the NHL goes. When asked about the dilemma, Russian-born Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals said, “Anyway, I and other players will definitely come”. It is no secret that most players want to attend, because the appeal and glory of the Games is incomparable to anything else. Canadian Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche called it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Fasel himself admitted that “there is nothing like the Olympics.” Needless to say, the ice hockey events at Pyeongchang would be much less appealing if NHL players were not in the mix. We all could be facing a lame tournament filled with sub-par players and lousy TV ratings. In order to dodge this catastrophe, perhaps us fans need to take action. If the IOC, IIHF, and NHL will not pay, then we can unite and together raise the sum needed. It will only require a small sacrifice from each one of us if we work in unison, and will reap a great reward come 2018. Hopefully, our team and all of us together can make this happen in the near future.