U.S. still plans Jan. 1 announcement
The Olympic roster announcement deadline has been moved to Jan. 7, the International Ice Hockey Foundation announced Wednesday, although USA Hockey will stick with its original plan to announce its team on Jan. 1.
LeBrun: Deadline Extension
The IIHF was caught between a rock and a hard place and, in the end, split the difference by going with Jan. 7, Pierre LeBrun writes. Blog
A day after IIHF president Rene Fasel had stood firm on the Dec. 31 deadline in meetings with hockey federations in Zurich, continued pressure from some prominent European countries has led to a change of heart from the NHL, its players' association and the IIHF.
The NHL and NHLPA signed off on the change Wednesday.
Later in the day, USA Hockey announced it was sticking with its original plan to name its full roster Jan. 1 during the Winter Classic telecast on NBC.
"We look forward to celebrating the American player through the announcement of our Olympic teams as part of the NHL Winter Classic," Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said in a release. "It will be an extraordinary stage with an Original Six matchup, a record crowd, a worldwide television audience, the great pageantry of the event itself, and of course the unveiling of both our men's and women's Olympic teams."
Team Canada had never announced a date. Sources indicate it will likely announce it closer to the new Jan. 7 deadline to take full advantage of the extra week.
Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic were the countries that had been lobbying to change the date, wanting more time to make roster decisions. Sources indicate they had hoped to push it to Jan. 15 but IIHF president split the difference and decided on Jan. 7, which the NHLPA and NHL accepted Wednesday.
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