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THE National Hockey League may not send its players to the next Winter Olympics in South Korea, potentially dealing a huge blow to the ice hockey competition.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league may want to solely focus on the following Olympics in 2022 in Beijing, in order to gain a foothold in the Chinese market.

“The question is would the fact that the Winter Olympics in Beijing introduce that country to hockey and give us an opportunity to make a real impression in China, where hockey is really in an embryonic state?” Bettman said on NHL.com.

Jonas Hiller #1 of Switzerland tries to make a save against Sandis Ozolins #8 of Latvia as Severin Blindenbacher #5 and Nino Niederreiter #22 defend in the second period during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group C game on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Jonas Hiller #1 of Switzerland tries to make a save against Sandis Ozolins #8 of Latvia as Severin Blindenbacher #5 and Nino Niederreiter #22 defend in the second period during the Men’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group C game on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.Source: Getty Images

“That’s a discussion we have to have to determine whether or not there is an opportunity to grow the game in China by using the Winter Games with NHL players as a catalyst.

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Seinfeld star David Puddy steals the show at NHL match

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There goes the Devils’ modest winning streak.

Bryan Rust scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the second period and the Penguins continued their playoff push and avoided the embarrassment of being swept by the lowly Devils with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night at Prudential Center in Newark, despite the fact the character David Puddy of “Seinfeld” fame was in attendance.

“Puddy”, played by US actor Patrick Warburton, was made famous in an episode of the iconic sitcom where painted his face in Devils colours in an episode and shouted: “We’re the Devils.”

Over 20 years on, the joke hasn’t died down.

Warburton dropped the puck before the game in a ceremonial opening to the night, but the real moment that sent mouths running was the TV star’s slip-up on the ice as he exited the rink.



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Artemi Panarin ‘s**t his pants’, says Columbus Blue Jackets coach

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Too much information, coach. TMI.

We doubt Gordon Bombay ever had the urge to go into great detail when talking about the bowel movements of the Mighty Ducks but John Tortorella decided to go where nobody really wanted him to today.

The coach of NHL side the Columbus Blue Jackets was in no mood for mincing his words when quizzed about why star forward Artemi Panarin wasn’t suiting up for the clash against the Montreal Canadiens.

Panarin has been the subject of intense trade speculation in recent days as he wants to explore free agency this coming winter. The Blue Jackets need to decide whether they use him as trade bait to lure another player to the franchise before the February 25 deadline, or hold onto him for a run towards the playoffs knowing full well he’s a huge chance of leaving at season’s end.

His absence from the ice against the Canadiens fuelled speculation there’d been a development in his personal situation but Tortorella was adamant there was nothing sinister about the move.

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NHL expansion, Seattle NHL team, 32nd franchise, NHL realignment, SuperSonics

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Seattle is getting a National Hockey League team. It will just have to wait a little bit longer to drop the puck.

The NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved adding Seattle as the league’s 32nd franchise on Tuesday, with play set to begin in 2021 instead of 2020 to allow enough time for arena renovations.

The as-yet unnamed franchise will be the Emerald City’s first major winter sports team since the NBA’s SuperSonics left town in 2008.

“Today is a day for celebration in a great city that adores and avidly supports its sports teams and for our 101-year-old sports league,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“Expanding to Seattle makes the National Hockey League more balanced, even more whole and even more vibrant. A team in Seattle evens the number of teams in our two conferences, brings our geographic footprint into greater equilibrium and creates instant new rivalries out west, particularly between Seattle and Vancouver.”

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