The International Ice Hockey Federation has approved adding six extra players to each team for the upcoming 2022 Olympics in Beijing, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports.
Rosters will consist of 25 plus the six additional players that are eligible to play if injury or COVID-19 becomes a factor. Dreger notes the rule is essentially the same as an NHL taxi squad, which has been used by the league the past two seasons due to the pandemic.
The rule will apply for both the men's and women's tournaments.
New rules today from IIHF. 25 players plus 6 extra can travel to Beijing. All eligible to play if injury or Covid become a factor. In essence the Olympics will provide teams with a taxi squad.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 24, 2022
Last month, it was decided between the NHL Players' Association and league that NHL players would not attend the 2022 Games because of a surge in COVID-19 cases and multitude of postponed games. Both sides had originally negotiated Olympic participation in Beijing in their latest collective bargaining agreement but now say the focus is on sending players to the Milano Cortina Games in 2026.
The IIHF said earlier this month that individual NHLers would not be accepted into Olympic participation on their own accord.
The Beijing Olympics are slated to open on Feb. 4 and run through Feb. 20.