Hockey veteran and Olympian speaks out on NHL’s rule barring players from 2018 Games

Stanley Cup champion Brian Gionta is back on track to play in the Olympics in South Korea this winter — but many of his NHL comrades are forbidden from joining him thanks to a new and highly controversial league rule.

“As a player, you want that opportunity to represent your country on a stage like the Olympics,” the right winger told AOL.com. “It’s the biggest thing you can do.”

The NHL announced in April that it would not allow its active players to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics, spurring backlash from athletes and fans alike. The decision came after complaints from team owners who said that stopping the NHL season every four years to allow players to participate in the Games was not worth it.

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