There are games before the Games.
According to Canada’s TSN and Sportsnet, the NHL told the NHL Players’ Assn. it will agree to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics if the NHLPA agrees to extend the collective bargaining agreement by three years to 2025. That’s no sure bet.
Players are unhappy with high escrow payments they’ve had to make in order to ensure hockey-related revenues are split 50-50 with owners, and it’s unlikely they’d want to keep the current escrow rules. The escrow rate is 15.5% for the first quarter of this season, though players might get back some of the withheld money if revenues warrant it.