Turns out the NHL wasn’t allowing its players to participate in the Olympics without at least the smallest bit of protection. According to multiple sources, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) had taken out insurance for the possibility of NHL players getting hurt while playing for their respective countries, The Post has learned. Yet that insurance was not applicable until the injured player had missed 10 games for his NHL team. Every NHL team pays insurance on each player contract, meaning if the player were to get hurt playing for that team, the insurance would pick up most of, if not all, of the salary. Yet, if a player were to get hurt participating for some other team — such as his country in the Olympics — then the insurance taken out by the team does not take effect. That led many to believe that NHL teams were taking all of the risk sending their players to Sochi, Russia, with the IOC and IIHF reaping all the benefits. Yet NHL officials publicly had stated after the Games the IOC did have insurance, and by refusing to get into specifics, led many more people to believe NHL teams were covered entirely. What actually happened was a tense negotiation, with the NHL and NHLPA on one side and the IOC and IIHF on the other, concerning the league’s participation in the 2014 Sochi Games. It was not resolved until July, well after the most recent collective bargaining agreement was reached in January 2013 between the NHL and its players. Part of that Olympic negotiation was to guard against NHL players suffering long-term injury while playing for their countries, and this 10-game provision was seemingly the solution.
Olympic insurance will kick in after 10 NHL games missed
New York Post | Feb 28