Brad Marchand rants about NHL opting out of the Olympics calling it BS

The NHL was forced to opt-out of Olympic participation due to a spike in COVID cases that forced 9 teams to shutdown and caused a premature extended holiday break.

While many players voiced their disappointment, Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand had some harsh words on the topic.

“The NHL and NHLPA can change the rules of the CBA to add a taxi squad so that they don’t miss any games and don’t lose any money,” Marchand began in a posted rant on social media. “Which has already been agreed upon that players will pay back in escrow until the owners are made whole from what they lost during the pandemic… yet they can’t do a taxi squad doing The Olympics to they can honor the agreement they made so the players can go.”

“Please tell me that’s not bulls**t.”

Marchand lashes out over Olympic decision

brad marchand olympics
Nov 4, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) get set for a face-off during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

What Marchand is leaving out is that the NHL did agree to let the players participate in the Olympics so long as it the league’s own season was not in jeopardy.

“We (NHL) made a promise to the players to participate in the Olympics,” Gary Bettman said at the Board of Governors meetings. “If the players want to go, subject to if our own season is in trouble because of COVID, not to go would be a joint decision with the Players’ Association.”

That decision was reached with NHLPA after a rash of COVID cases postponed over 70 games so far this season.

“Since the CBA extension was reached 17 months ago, NHL players have looked forward with great anticipation to once again participating in the Winter Olympics,” NHLPA head Donald Fehr said. “Until very recently, we seemed to be on a clear path to go to Beijing. COVID-19 has unfortunately intervened, forcing dozens of games to be postponed this month alone. No matter how much we wish it were not the case, we need to utilize the Olympic period to reschedule these games… We expect that NHL players will return to the Olympics in 2026.”