Daly gives updates on NHL Olympic chatter, China visit

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 30: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly speaks to the media at the NHL Centennial Fan Arena unveiling as part of the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic at Exhibition Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. The Centennial Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be played on New Year's Day. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – NHL deputy commissioner said a 2018 Olympic update at the NHL’s Board of Governors meeting Saturday lasted “10 seconds.”

Daly noted that the talk was, “Part of a much broader discussion. A very small part of a broader discussion with respect to some international initiatives.”

In the past, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had said he hoped a decision on whether to participate in the Pyeongchang Games would hopefully occur in January. With the month nearing a close, there appeared to be no worry from the NHL’s governors on the lack of closure on such a choice.

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“I would characterize it as sort of calm, steady as it goes dialogue,” Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman said. “No definitive position. I would say more dialogue and no conclusion I would sense at this point in time. Nothing has really changed.”

Daly recently returned from China, where he checked out the viability of the country for potential NHL preseason and regular season games, along with how the 2022 Olympics in Beijing could work from a hockey perspective. The NHL has seemed to be more interested in the China Games than the Games in South Korea in part because of China’s vast economy and population.

“I think there’s a lot of intrigue (there) about our sport now,” Daly said. “They all emphasize the fact that one, the sport needs more exposure in China but two it’s a very popular sport amongst young kids. They like the game and seeing it. So it’s about making it more accessible and more available for the Chinese youth building the infrastructure there.”

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Daly said there wasn’t a decision made on whether the league could partake in preseason games in China next season. He did hear pitches from local officials about how growing the sport in China could help interest in the country, which should help the league’s bottom line like it has with the NBA.

“They did suggest part of the NBA’s success in China really came with bringing NBA teams over there and having them interact live, in the country with the fans,” Daly said. “So they emphasized that as being a very important initiative, so it was interesting to hear.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!