NHL will send players to Sochi Olympics

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The NHL and its players association today announced an anticipated agreement that will allow its players to continue to participate in the Olympics, specifically for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The agreement is with the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby is expected to be a main figure for Canada, and Penguins center Evgeni Malkin a key figure for Russia. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has been named coach of Team USA, and Penguins general manager Ray Shero will serve the Americans as assistant GM.

"I think everyone thought it was just a matter of time, working out logistics," Crosby said of the agreement. "I'm glad that we're going and, obviously, excited to kind of start the process."

At the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Crosby scored in overtime against Team USA to give host nation Canada the gold medal. He's hoping to be part of a repeat.

"When you play for Canada, that's the expectation," he said. "People come together that time of year, and when it's hockey, even more so. You want to go there and find a way to win gold."

The 2013-14 NHL schedule will be suspended between Feb. 9 and Feb. 26 so what is expected to be more than 100 of its players can participate in the Olympics.

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