IIHF, NHL & NHLPA announce plans for NHL players to participate in 2026 and 2030 Winter Olympic Games
by IIHF|02 FEB 2024
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today jointly announced plans for NHL Players to participate in the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games.
The Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 are scheduled to be held Feb. 6-22, 2026, in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. It will mark the first time NHL Players compete on the Olympic stage since 2014, and sixth time overall (1998 – Nagano, Japan; 2002 – Salt Lake City, United States; 2006 – Turin, Italy; 2010 Vancouver, Canada; 2014 – Sochi, Russia). The host for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games is expected to be chosen later this year by the International Olympic Committee.
The IIHF, NHL, and NHLPA have outlined and agreed to the major principles related to the players participation with details to be finalized within the coming months. Today’s announcements were made at a news conference from the 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto, Canada, attended by IIHF President Luc Tardif, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and NHLPA Executive Director Marty Walsh.


“This decision represents a turning point for Ice Hockey at the global level and marks the great return of the NHL Players to the Olympic Games. The IIHF was able to gather all related stakeholders at the same table to find a long-lasting and sustainable consensus, which is the backbone of what we intend to do as Sports Organizations. As prime hockey fans, the IIHF is obviously thrilled and excited about this unprecedented agreement, we are already looking forward to witnessing the Best of Ice Hockey at these upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Milano and in 2030.”
IIHF President Luc Tardif
 “The international composition of National Hockey League rosters is unparalleled, and NHL Players take great pride in representing their countries. We are pleased that today, after intense collaborative efforts with the NHL Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation, we can formally announce that NHL Players will participate in both the 2026 and 2030 Olympic hockey tournaments.”
 –NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
“For years, the players have embraced the opportunity to compete for Olympic gold, and we are excited that today’s announcement makes it a certainty for our members in the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games. We also know that hockey fans worldwide have long been anticipating the next best-on-best international competition, and now they can finally see some of their favourite players represent their countries and line up together.”
–NHLPA Executive Director Marty Walsh