| BERLIN, July 22
BERLIN, July 22 The NHL players' association
(NHLPA) denied on Wednesday it had forced German ice hockey
players to miss a pre-Olympic training camp because of concerns
they would not be adequately insured in case of injury.
Eight German NHL players signed up for this week's four-day
camp but the German federation said they could not attend
because the NHL and NHLPA had insisted at "very short notice"
that their players' multi-million dollar contracts were properly
The camp is the start of the team's preparations ahead of
the Vancouver Winter Olympics in February.
The NHLPA said it had never made any demands about insurance
but had simply advised players that the training camps might not
be providing enough to cover their contracts or future earnings
should they get injured there.
"While our NHLPA members look forward to the opportunity to
represent their countries at the Olympics, it is unreasonable to
request that players participate in on-ice summer orientation
sessions without sufficient insurance against injuries," Paul
Kelly, NHLPA executive director, said on Wednesday.
"We have recommended that our members give strong
consideration to the risks involved in participating should
proper insurance coverage not be provided," Kelly said in an
e-mailed statement to Reuters.
The German federation had said on Monday "the NHL as well as
the NHLPA for the first time and at short notice demand from the
national federations salary insurance coverage for the players
even for on-ice training units".
The NHL has had a rocky relationship for years with the
international federation (IIHF) and national federations over
the participation of their players in the Olympics.
The NHL has argued the league's momentum is lost when it is
forced to interrupt the season for more than two weeks to send
players to the Games.
IIHF president Rene Fasel has called the endeavour to bring
NHL players to the Games "a challenge or a nightmare".
(Editing by Sonia Oxley; To comment on this story: